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Newspapers dying?

Note: I drafted this post last week, after I saw the USA Today article below. Then today, newspapers made the news again, this time on CNN, when the Ann Arbor News announced it will be publishing its last edition in July.

The newspaper business is not what it used to be. It’s losing money, losing advertisers, losing subscribers. And truthfully, many places are losing good journalists. As someone with a journalism degree, it’s sad. For many reasons.

I have been wondering about the demise of the newspaper industry since I graduated from college in April 2006. I knew the outlook was bleak even 3 years ago. I had written for my school newspaper for a year, had completed an internship with them, and yet, though I’d applied to several newspapers across the country, no one was biting. I didn’t hear a word. Hence my swift move 1,200 miles south. I’m still not doing much directly related to my degree in journalism, although writing will always be a part of my life. Out of the dozen or so friends I had in journalism classes, only 2 (that I’m aware of) actually work in journalism now. The rest of us went on to other fields or other schools for further education.

So while I am definitely saddened by the news of dwindling newspapers, I’m not surprised. Digital is on the rise with blogs, Twitter, etc., that now it’s so easy to “write” whether you are good or not. What do you make of newspaper business? What’s your prediction?

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One Response

  1. If I had a dime for every time I had this convo with somebody… lol.

    In all seriousness, though, it’s going to take a really innovative combination of ideas to save the American newspaper. I’ve always said I could never imagine a day where a tangible newspaper didn’t exist, but then on a random Wednesday you find out that the Ann Arbor News will cease to exist in July. And it’s scary.

    And it’s so true about the incredible number of people who got their degree in journalism who are now working in other fields. I made the switch in January, and while I still hurt for my friends and former co-workers who are struggling at their respective newspapers, I haven’t looked back since.

    We’ll see what happens!

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