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Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's Not Just the Business Model That's Killing Print

Posted by Goldy on Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Sullivan's got some interesting thoughts on Newsweek's decision to cease print publication. But the line of Sullivan's that stood out for me was this: "When we read online, we migrate to read people, not institutions."

Yeah, sure, daily newspapers have a business model problem. But it's more than just that. They're not giving readers the right the product. The nameless, faceless, I-can't-tell-one-byline-from-another style in which most newspapers are written is an anachronism that undermines the relationship between the publication and its readers.

Modern readers crave a personal relationship with the people providing them news and commentary. They want to know who we are and what we stand for. Readers don't want to have to guess our bias; they want to be trusted to read us in context, and judge the facts for themselves.

Twentieth century readers would never have stood for newspapers written in a 19th century style. So why should 21st century readers be expected to embrace dated 20th century conventions?

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