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Musings from Mike Atkinson on Internet strategy, usability, and more...

The Shift in Newspaperland

As we’ve talked about earlier, the Internet as a whole is radically changing the media industry. Newspapers are a fascinating study, in terms of the ways they’ve adjusted.

Unlike the music and movie worlds, newspapers were quick to adopt. And now, according to an article in today’s San Diego Union/Tribune, newspapers’ Internet divisions are becoming a profitable contributor to a dying offline business:

Newspapers remain highly profitable, with the largest companies reporting operating margins of 15 percent or more…Industry insiders say online operations are helping newspapers preserve those numbers, contributing between 3 and 7 percent of overall revenue, but as much as 15 percent of the profit.

But what about The Shift, and are newspapers aware of what’s happening with Web 2.0?

For several years, newspapers were just taking the print product and “shoveling it online,” said Rick Edmonds, a researcher and writer for the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank in St. Petersburg, Fla. “I think this really does mark a year where that is changing,” Edmonds said. “Your average good-sized newspaper Web site is trying to venture into new areas.”

We’ll see.

The article is a good read, but keep in mind it was generated within the world it’s talking about…

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