During my first year, it seemed a major newspaper downsized, closed, or sold to a conglomerate every week. A common explanation for the industry’s troubles held that newspapers were too slow to embrace online content and that publishers didn’t realize their readers would begin consuming more of their news online.
Now, they’re playing catch-up. If 2009 was the year the newspaper died, as a Business Insider article proclaimed, now is the era of picking up the pieces.
I haven’t met anybody who thinks newspapers have figured out how to deliver good journalism and get paid adequately for it, but the mindset among reporters and editors I’ve talked with has shifted from incredulous at the industry’s steep decline to acceptance of what their audience now wants.
And what consumers (yep, consumers, not readers) want is diverse, stimulating online content, from long-form journalism to video interviews and interesting photos. Newspapers are still catching up to the technological capabilities of the Web, and it’s not an easy or inexpensive task.