Monday, December 28, 2009

Getting out alive

Somewhere in the world, at the very moment you are reading this, someone is writing a book that will detail all the reasons why newspapers perished.

The resulting book will probably contain 350 pages or more.

But the reasons newspapers are dying aren't all that complicated and it's a story that can be told in just a few paragraphs.

Writer Ken Auletta, in his book about Internet giant Google - a company that some say is helping to kill newspapers - thinks that newspapers hastened their own demise.

Indeed, the people who run newspapers are the same people who are killing them.

A New York Times story today on the move by media outlets to finally start charging for online content contains a quote by former newspaper executive Alan D. Mutter on another mistake that newspapers made:
“One of the problems is newspapers fired so many journalists and turned them loose to start so many blogs,” Mr. Mutter said. “They should have executed them. They wouldn’t have had competition. But they foolishly let them out alive.”

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