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The Demise of the Morning Paper March 26, 2007

Posted by Suresh in Uncategorized.

The blogosphere is buzzing about the future of the newspaper industry (here and here) — circulation is down, years of layoffs have really hurt the quality and depth of coverage (particularly local coverage), the papers have underinvested in technology and are left with archaic systems and terribly cluttered and unreadable websites, NO one is clicking on their non-contextual display ads and MANY PEOPLE are finding uber-effective classified alternatives like Craigslist.

I miss the feel of the old Sporting Green in the morning, but now I read SFGate every morning for free.  I’ve come to realize that I don’t read as many boxscores as I used to because they’re not as easily read on SFGate (and frankly it’s not as fun to peruse online as in the print edition). What’s worse (if you’re a Chronicle shareholder) is that it feels like even SFGate is starting to take a backseat in my morning reading routine to the high quality bay area sports blogs like Athletics Nation, Golden State of Mind, Fast Break (actually an SJ Merc blog but written by an everyday fan) and Niners Nation.   The community behind these blogs are more deeply knowledgable, passionate and more active than anything I get in the Chronicle, plus I can engage with them directly.  Check out the annual interviews Billy Beane gives to Athletics Nation, note how authentic, personal and insightful the content is, and then think of the last time you read something like that in your local paper.

It’s rough times for the newspaper industry, but I’m hoping they come to their senses and take advantage of the richness of the internet and use it to their advantage by posting full length interviews online, arming reporters with handheld digital videocameras and encouraging dialogue and a sense of community on their sites.  As an avid devourer of content, I am rooting for them because, hey, more great A’s and Niners content is a good thing.



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