Most managers in the industry have reacted to the collapse of their business model with a spiral of budget cuts, bureau closings, buyouts, layoffs, and reductions in page size and column inches. Since 1990, a quarter of all American newspaper jobs have disappeared.
Taking its place, of course, is the Internet, which is about to pass newspapers as a source of political news for American readers. For young people, and for the most politically engaged, it has already done so.
Newspapers are dying; the evidence of diminishment in economic vitality, editorial quality, depth, personnel, and the over-all number of papers is everywhere. What this portends for the future is complicated. Three years ago, Rupert Murdoch warned newspaper editors, ‚ÄúMany of us have been remarkably, unaccountably complacent . . . quietly hoping that this thing called the digital revolution would just limp along.‚Äù Today, almost all serious newspapers are scrambling to adapt themselves to the technological and community-building opportunities offered by digital news delivery, including individual blogs, video reports, and ‚Äúchat‚Äù opportunities for readers. Some, like the Times and the Post, will likely survive this moment of technological transformation in different form, cutting staff while increasing their depth and presence online. Others will seek to focus themselves locally. Newspaper editors now say that they ‚Äúget it.‚Äù
Unter der Überschrift „Out of Print“ befasst sich Eric Alterman im New Yorker mit „The death and life of the American newspaper.“