Newspapers will be dead in five years, unless we do something. I’ve had this discussion with people a thousand times. Is it evolution or laziness? Do people move towards the internet because it is easier to get the news, or are we apart of the movement to evolve as a species? Why should we buy a newspaper, when all the news we could ever possibly want is right there on the Internets? I won’t start ranting and raving about the death of the American Writer. I don’t really want to get into that. But Wired has a post up talking about the five things Google could do to save newspapers. Writer Christ Synder brings up some important points. One of the more interesting is how that most horrible of things, Craigslist, probably put the knife into the newspaper-business’ back. Peep it:
Craigslist has been accused of single-handedly killing the newspaper industry by conditioning people to pay as little as zero for classified ads. Craig Newmark famously knows he is leaving perhaps 10s of millions of dollars on the table, and famously could not care less. Meanwhile, the traditional lifeblood for newspapers for your used car is being drained dry by this international classified ad network and by slightly-more-expensive-and-more-complicated auction services like eBay. You can’t blame Craiglist for innovating — despite their business model, they clean up, thank you very much — just like you can’t blame Google. You’d have to blame the entire internet.
I’m not exactly sure what we are going to do. I will tell you that there are more people without fast and accessable internet than there are people with it. And until you can easily read the news on you laptop on the bus, at a cafe, or on the toilet, we will have print media for just a little bit longer.