Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

‘They didn’t…so they aren’t’

Posted in Journalism by Adam Westbrook on March 21, 2009

Have a read of Michael Rosenblum‘s blog about why some newspapers failed and others didn’t.

It’s the subject of a lot of chatter, debate and writings, but Rosenblum cuts right through it all and delivers this crisp diagnosis of why papers are screwed:

“US papers have been eviscerated because of Craigslist.  It stole the classifieds and their income.

“Ironically, the offices of The [San Francisco] Chronicle are just a few blocks from Craig Newmark’s apartment in San Francisco.  The Chronicle could have started Craigslist, they could have bought it, they could have owned it. A Chronicle that was married to Craigslist today would have no financial troubles whatsoever. They could afford to send the best journalists all over the world to do the best journalism. But they didn’t … so they don’t.

“The New York Times once could have bought Google for $1 million. But they didn’t.  They didn’t because they didn’t think that internet search engines had anything to do with their business.  A strange postion for a paper whose very motto is ‘all the news that’s fit to print’. If The New York Times owend Google (or part of it), there would be no question about their becoming the engine for journalism in the 21st Century. But they didn’t.. so they aren’t.”

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  1. Ali Plumb said, on March 21, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Very wise, very true… very worrying


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