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Newsprint will die

An ad by the Newspaper Association of America states that “No amount of effort from local bloggers, non-profit news entities or TV news sources could match the depth and breadth of newspaper-produced content.” Wow! That’s insulting. What’s worse, it completely misunderstands what’s happening to the newspaper industry and why the printed page is destined to fail.

John F. Sturm authored the ad titled, The reality about newspapers. He says that newspapers are doing very well and won’t go away. This also implies, by extension, that the printed page — the medium of newsprint — is also here to stay.

This is the blind spot of nearly all newspaper supporters — the failure to separate journalism from the medium of paper.

Take this statement by Sturm, “Newspapers make a larger investment in journalism than any other medium. Most of the information you read from ‘aggregators’ and other media originated with newspapers.”

I believe this is absolutely true, for now. Original journalism is very valuable and websites that simply scrape newspaper content are not really a core business — one aggregator can easily be replaced by another.

But the idea that nothing will match newspapers is utterly false.

I think it’s more accurate to say that when online media match the efforts of newspapers to gather original journalistic content, then the medium of newsprint will die.