The Dog and the Bone – Why Newspapers (and Magazines) Are Going Going Gone
How do you stop a slow dying painful death? Inject life and celebrate birth, to borrow from Richard Rodriguez, Noted Author & Essayist. In this war of the mediums, it is all about who has the bone. Or who had the bone. Newspaper had the bone. Everything else was just a reflection. By everything we mean radio, television, magazines, and new media which came later.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia — Aesop’s story, a dog carrying a bone over a bridge looks down into the water and sees its own reflection. Taking it for another dog carrying a better bone, the dog opens its mouth to bark at the “other” and in doing so drops its own bone into the river. The moral, according to John Lydgate’s versified Isopes Fabules, is that the one ‘Who all coveteth, oft he loseth all.' –
The water is the Internet. The bone was authoritative and accurate information supplied to millions of paid subscribers. Keyword paid subscribers which in turn with advertising netted millions and billions of dollars for newspapers. Somewhere along the way newspapers began to covet something that really was not there. Fame over fortune perhaps? Newspapers were no longer happy being quoted as the source. Newspapers wanted it all. The fame and the fortune. So they began to compete where there was no competition. Newspapers gave away their content for free. Their subscribers and advertising did flee. No more bone had thee.
Technology injected life into the medium but newspapers refused life support. The days of being a single medium were over. Newspapers pushed away the idea of podcasting because it was too much like radio. Newspapers pushed away the idea of video because it was too much like television. Thus came the amateurs. Then newspapers with no reason to compete began fighting a war for life.
Newspapers can’t die. We must save them as everything else is still just a reflection. No newspaper, no news. What will radio talk about already famous for being a day late because they have to read the newspaper. Television just recites the newspaper.
Newspapers need to lock it down STAT. Stop refusing life support and expand the medium as only newspapers can. Inject life and remember why you were born – to satisfy curiosity and intrigue the imagination. Stop coveting and feed the reflection. Share the bone. Appreciate being the source and reward those delivering daily traffic and increasing subscribers.
Give subscribers more. Offer free print editions with each article driving traffic online for subscribers only. Throw in a few free books, cd’s, some real coupons, subscriber only events, conference, luncheons, etc. Breathe again. Be the source again. Upon approaching a reflection, just marvel at it. Come back to life and life will come back to newspapers.
PhotoBuzz: (insert) — Newspaper salesman Karim Benkanoun (L) gives a customer change for a purchase at Nick’s Newsstand February 26, 2010 in San Francisco, California. As the newspaper industry continues to struggle and more people turn to the internet for their news, Nick’s Newsstand closed its doors after more than 30 years of selling newspapers and magazines from a kiosk in downtown San Francisco. Newsstand owner Karim Benkanoun made the decision to close the business after sales plummeted over the past four years causing him to make less than minimum wage. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Buzzed by DryerBuzz August 7, 2010 · Browse More Stories Like This In News Clippings .