Response to Dan Potter

31 Jan

Listening to Dan Potter talk yesterday was a little upsetting. As a journalism student I have always thought of “the death of the newspaper” as something distant and far off, like running out of oil and being forced to use all electric cars. However, after hearing Dan talk about the grim reality of the failing newspaper industry, I had to face the harsh reality that the newspaper industry is really changing. 

I am a bit old school in my news consumption: I love listening to public radio and enjoy reading a physical newspaper (largely for the crosswords). However, I do resort to online news outlets when in need of breaking news, or when looking for more information on a particular news event. I would be extremely sad to see the physical newspaper disappear entirely, but I also understand the financial necessity to make a change. 

I believe a good alternative would be to publish physically weekly, rather than daily, and publish daily online. Readers could have the option of buying an online only subscription, or an online and physical subscription. Either way, readers should be required to have a subscription to access the articles from The Missourian. Maybe as a payoff for avid physical-newspaper readers, they could offer some kind of join-discount rate for buying both a physical and online subscription. 

When Dan talked about the lack of profit being made by The Missourian, it made me realize that the newspaper industry must change its business model to survive. I am sure we will se large changes in newspapers nationwide in the next few years, and I am very interested to watch how it all plays out. I sometimes feel that it is a battle between digital news outlets and the newspaper industry, but I feel in order to survive, these two industries need to form a partnership. 

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