The Case of the Disappearing Newspaper

The (physical) newspaper* as we know it is being chopped up before our very eyes.

Yesterday, the New York Times announced that it would be selling 13% of its front page real estate for advertising.

The New York Times front page, Jan. 5, 2009

The New York Times front page, Jan. 5, 2009

Back in August of 2007, they sliced off 1.5″ to save on printing and paper costs.

The New York Times loses 1.5 inches on August 6, 2007

The New York Times loses 1.5 inches on August 6, 2007

The page is dead, or dying, indeed.

Clay Shirky provides some excellent perspective:

…People will always be interested in information relevant to their current situation. The part of that that’s really hard journalism, like covering the city council or whatever, where it’s long and it’s boring but you got to do it, is going to increasingly have to find new business models, because we can’t just rely on Bloomingdale’s to subsidize that anymore with display ads. And so we’re going to have this move to what I think are going to be a lot more nonprofit models for news, a la NPR. But, much more importantly, the idea that there are news organizations and other kinds of organizations, I think, is just going to break down under the weight of the evidence.

Read the entire interview. Part I and Part II. It’s worth it.

* For more on the future of journalism itself, Cliff Huang and Atley Kasky over on the GOOD.is blog have an excellent take: “A Glimpse at the Future of Journalism.”

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