Can techies save newspapers from shutting down?

These days you read a lot about US newspapers considering to shutdown or “reinvent” themselves.

Newspapers in San Francisco [photo June 2014]

Newspapers in San Francisco [photo June 2014]


In developed countries the internet peneteration is very good and one could think of the online world replacing the print media (this idea is still a stretch). In India the newspaper and online will have to co-exist.

Sometime in 2006 or 2007 I had read an interview in Business Standard where the gentlemen said “Down the road internet advertising will DIE and only mobile advertising will exist”.  I wish I had saved that URL, I can’t find it on Google. Anyway, such statements are baseless.  We need to understand that each medium needs to exist – newspaper, TV, radio, mobile and internet.

So why does that article think techies can save newspapers?

There are three reasons why the tech leaders should be driving this bus: their culture of innovation; their dependence on newspapers; and their track record of creating and growing sources of online revenue.

To achieve aggressive goals in competitive environments, teams have to work together without hidden agendas or obsessive attention to where in the chain of command a new idea originates.

Another promising idea is for the portals to agree on standard cost-per-click rates to be paid to publishers. In the current system, where rates range from barter to two cents a click, negotiations are like the Wild West. If the portals could agree on consistent rates for various types of publications, newspapers would save money. The portals should also agree on a fee structure that they pay for hosted stories rather than taking that content for free and failing to share any of the advertising upside. The portals’ operation margins are significant, and there is ample room to cut the newspapers in on more of what they monetize. ..More..

On one end we read internet advertising is “drying up” (another extreme statement) and in the same breathe we read “online portals will save newspapers”.

Of course, if all mediums die and only internet portals exist I would benefit 😉 But that is not happening folks. Sigh!

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  1. […] have been articles about newspapers shutting in US. Many felt Print was pretty much dead and everyone would move online. They have been wrong. […]

  2. […] have been articles about newspapers shutting in US. Many felt Print was pretty much dead and everyone would move online. They have been wrong. […]

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