by A.F. James MacArthur, Managing Editor
Now before my friends, or perhaps now former friends get even more upset with me (see Phony Baltimore Sun), you need to put on your analytical thinking cap and clearly grasp what is being said.
Although entire newspapers have gone 100% bankrupt, many closing their doors for ever, we are not suggesting that newspapers as a business will go away.
IT'S THE MEDIUM STUPID!What's being said, and missed by so many. Those who've entrenched themselves so deep in defensive mode, they'd need a periscope to view the outside world are so caught up, they can't see what the rest of us do. The actual paper your print your news on, this will soon be all but gone.
Space does not permit me to go into a full cost benefit analysis. A few simple points can be made though. One, paper and it's costs are a fluctuating commodity. Much like gas, it's now nearly impossible to long term budget, because no one knows what the price of tea in China will be tomorrow. Speaking of gas, it takes a lot of it, and diesel also, to get those newspapers all over the place everyday. Can anyone say, E X P E N S I V E ?
So while those trucks are rumbling down the road, spewing greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, carrying around those rain forest depleting dead trees, change happens. By the time your papers reach their destination, the world has already changed since the stories were submitted for deadline. Put simply, it's already YESTERDAY'S NEWS.
Championing the rise of new media is not to suggest, the old companies are no longer needed. Those of us early adopters to fully integrated multi-media, new media platforms, just understand that the times are changing. The thought of using stimulus dollars to prop up a dying, environmentally destructive, financially inefficient business model is frightening and irresponsible.
Instead of pumping blood transfusions into a a nearly lifeless corpse, shouldn't we also be seriously considering reconstructive surgery? Lastly, I offer a couple analogies. In the forest (there's those trees again), the old stalwart hardwoods eventually must die. It is a cycle of nature, unavoidable and utterly inevitable. This is necessary to let the sun (yes pun intended) shine through to the newer younger growth hidden beneath the canopy. Be it natural death of old age, or the eventual forest fire cycle, nature has it's ways of ushering out the old, and bringing in the new.
The change is coming whether we like it or not. A choice can be made to stubbornly resist it and stand in front, or get on board and surf (the web) the wave, harnessing it's energy for rapid forward propulsion. If we were on the North Shore of Oahu, would you rather surf the big waves, or just stand there and get flattened as the water crashes over you?