Dan Potter Response

1 Feb

Listening to Dan Potter speak Wednesday reaffirmed my belief that news organizations that produce a daily physical publication desperately need to change their business models. Even as someone who personally enjoys reading a physical newspaper, I still get the vast majority of my news from the internet. It’s undeniable that news consumption is skewing in this direction and, as the Missourian’s finances prove, this trend is having serious repercussions on the profitability of newspapers.

One thing that stuck with me from the class discussion with Mr. Potter was the idea of putting a $5 monthly fee for access to a news website into perspective. As Mr. Potter said, people spend that much daily for a cup of coffee. The question isn’t whether people would be willing to spend this amount of money for news, but the newspaper industry convincing consumers that there is considerable value in its product. To me, this means the news organizations with the best combination of content and marketing are the ones that will succeed in the digital age.

I was also intrigued by our discussion about the impact tablets could potentially have on the newspaper industry. I personally don’t own a tablet, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the best way to view a print publication in a digital form is via tablet at this point. If done correctly, tablets truly could allow magazines and newspapers alike to target a younger demographic, particularly young professionals.

As Mr. Potter said, there are clearly hurdles to overcome, but these hurdles can also be seen as opportunities. There will always be demand for news, it’s just a matter of packaging content in a way that appeals to a modern-day consumer.

-Alex Silverman

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