Wednesday, September 28, 2005

 

John Dvorak in PC Magazine: Newspapers and Movies -- both fading fast

By John C. Dvorak
PC Magazine

There are two important institutions that are about to be decimated by technology: newspapers and movies. It won't be pretty.

I've been thinking about it because another American institution is under attack simultaneously: the printed newspaper. Newspapers, once fat and happy with local ads and classifieds, have all bloated up, with too many staffers producing a minimal amount of content per person. An average reporter was once supposed to write 75 column inches a week. This is around 375 words a day for a five-day workweek. Most bloggers do more than that, although those 375 words should be high-quality.

This was justifiable when the newspapers were rolling in dough, but craigslist has probably sunk the business, with free classified advertising that is far more useful and functional than anything delivered by any newspaper. There was a lot of money made by the classifieds. That money is gone. Nobody knows how the newspapers can recover. Nobody.

Meanwhile, the newspaper publishers are clueless as to what they might do to stop the bleeding and Hollywood is more concerned about digital rights management than they are about their own future. Hey, guys. There is a huge locomotive headed your way. Take a look!



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