Thursday, February 23, 2006

The slow death of newspapers

While walking back from lunch this afternoon, I saw something odd...attractive models, dressed in black, handing out copies of the San Jose Mercury News for free on University Avenue. Is that what newspapers need to do to compete with Craigslist and other forms of online media that continues to claw away at their margins? If so, I feel very sad for them. One of the models even had one of those flashing MGD buttons...perhaps for her gig come happy hour pushing Miller Genuine Draft to the masses. Sadder still...no one was taking the paper from their hands...just a simple "no thanks" from each passerby.

Now I still get the Chronicle delivered every morning...cause it feels good to have the paper on the morning train to work (even though I glance at sfgate.com when I awake) or in front of me on Sunday morning, but mostly because I only pay $0.30 a week for having it deliverd to my door.

I don't see the younger generation reading them on the train. Books and magazines...but not newspapers. How long before they wither away and die?

1 comment:

Romerican said...

It's hard for me to feel sorry for bloated megacorporations who've made immense fortunes by charging advertisers entirely too much while also grafting the very readers whom they feed AP stories disguised as local scoops.

Newspapers are filthy beasts. Combine that with the lack of original or thought provoking work and it's no wonder few people want to plunk down two bucks for it. I think they may have something of a fighting chance if they would break open the piggy bank and invest in their own survival by backing one or more epaper plays. Why wait for someone else to make it without your involvement? By the time it finishes, you may not have the money any more.

As for the streetwalkers, the newspaper beancounters overlooked the obvious faus pax: who wants to appear as a straight-laced intellectual when near yummy bimbettes?