March 28, 2004

An Agreeable Person Is One Who Agrees With Me.... Sooner or Later

THE SHARP-EYED ACE OF SPADES has made what is, to me at least, an interesting catch and comparison:

Compare the quotes. And compare the dates.

Needless to say, I still read the news, much of it coming from the newspapers I used to religiously read. But I am not reading the "paper," either literally or figuratively, that the publishers want me to read. Throughout the day, I construct my own newspaper in cyberspace, a real-time assemblage of wire service stories, newspaper features, blogs, bulletin boards, columns, etc. I suspect most of you do, too.

In any other industry, a product that lost 1 percent of market share for two decades -- only to then double or triple that rate of decline -- would be declared dead. The manufacturer would discontinue it and rush out a replacement product more in line with the desires of the marketplace. So, let's finally come out and say: Newspapers are dead. They will never come back. By the end of this decade, the newspaper industry will suffer the same death rate -- 90-plus percent -- that every other industry experiences when run over by a technology revolution.

-- Michael S. Malone,, March 24, 2005

The graph has two lines. The first line depicts traditional media (a combination of audience numbers for television and radio news and the circulation of newspapers and magazines). It is a line in decline. The second line depicts the use of the Internet to gather information, news and opinion. This line is ascending. At some point, perhaps not too distant, the two lines will cross. At that point the angles of decline and ascent will steepen until, at some other point, the line for traditional media will drop off the significant part of the chart forever.

For many of us, that time is now. For others it will come to them as inevitable as the force of gravity. If you are reading this, the odds are favorable that you now get your daily dose of news and opinion from a source I like to think of as "The Toolbar Times." If so, you're a charter member of the only newspaper that matters: yours. And you made it yourself. Why? Because you could.

-- Gerald Vanderleun, American Digest (blog), May 21, 2004

It's good to be right, but it's better to be early. Posted by Vanderleun at March 28, 2004 8:00 AM
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