Tuesday, 10 March 2009

U.S. print list

The current online edition of Time has a 24/7 Wall St. list of "the 10 major daily papers that are most likely to fold or shutter their print operations and only publish online."

U.S. newspapers on that list: 1 - Philadelphia Daily News 2 - Minneapolis Star Tribune 3 - Miami Herald 4 - Detroit News 5 - Boston Globe 6 - San Francisco Chronicle 7 - Chicago Sun-Times 8 - New York Daily News 9 - Fort Worth Star-Telegram 10 - Cleveland Plain Dealer.

It's another "sky is falling" story that indicates mainstream media are throwing in the towel and giving up on print media without a fight. Print media survived the Great Depression and numerous recessions, so why the rush to bury it for the unproven Internet?

If print is dead, conglomerates with minimal interest in the product beyond profits and losses are to blame.

But back to the list. Canada has not lost a major daily newspaper in three decades, unless you call the Halifax Daily News, which folded in February of 2008, a major daily.

The big Canadian dailies on our defunct list are the Toronto Telegram in 1971, the Montreal Star in 1979, the Ottawa Journal in 1980 and the Winnipeg Tribune in 1980.

There was a time in 2008 when media watchers said Canadian newspapers were not in the same sinking boat as their American counterparts.

Today, the mood isn't as optimistic and armchair observers are predicting there will be major daily casualties here within the year.

Perhaps, a Canadian media outlet will publish "the 10 major daily papers that are most likely to fold or shutter their print operations and only publish online."

Or, on a more positive note, how about an ad campaign to advise advertisers that when it comes to the benefits of advertising, community newspapers win hands down.

If you want to get lost in the crowd, advertise on the Internet, a new media source will all kinds of bells and whistles but still struggling and unproven as a money making bonanza.

Would T.O.'s new and used car lots, audio and video stores, and discount stores like Honest Eds be worse off today if all of their advertising was on the Internet? You betcha.

Do you think community issues - politics, education, community events, crime etc. - will get the same attention from Internet news sources if print media dies? Don't count on it.

Print media is a way of life and has been for more than 200 years for good reason. Owners, advertisers and readers should have faith in it enough to ride out this recession.

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