Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Kalb Report: Ink on the Brink

Took me a little while to get to this. Last Monday I went to the first Kalb report for this season. It was Ink on the Brink.

This was a discussion on th future of print papers. THe opening question was where would papers be in 20 years. Or would there even be papers.

Most everyone believed that papers would be around in some form. But there would be a great deal of consolidation. Papers in large cities would survive but regional papers might not be. David Hunke said that papers will find business models to be here in 20 years.

Part of the problem with papers is that many are now parts of huge media conglomerates. An individual paper may be successful but not successful enough to help the bottom line of the conglomerate. The smaller profit margins which would be ok for one paper or a few papers in a small change just don’t make it the way the market is set up today.

Everyone was rather optimistic that papers would survive. Marvin seemed a little skeptical of this. But all the panelists agreed that newspapers would still be printed but there would be a larger element that would be electronic.

They then brought up a rather interesting point about the digital divide. Not only a divide of those people that could afford a computer and gain access to on-line content but a divide along age lines as well. What happens if the local paper goes away in a community and there are people who don't have access to a computer, not because they can't afford one, but because they don't know how to use one.

I'd hoped to take some pictures but the battery on my camera died.

In all a very interesting time.

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