Center for Ethics and Leadership

Monday, March 2, 2009

Another Newspaper in Trouble

It may be old news by now, but a once great newspaper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, faced bankruptcy last week. Philadelphia Media Holdings, LLC, parent company to the Inquirer and the Daily News, filed for restructuring under Chapter 11. Many say that print is dead and newsprint even deader than dead. I hope that is not true. Like many of my generation, I still like to sit with a newspaper, even if it is the morning paper and I have not had a chance to look it over until evening. A sour note in the filing was that major investor Brain Tierney of Philadelphia Media Holdings increased his salary from $600,000 to $850,000 last year. Management gave a reason, but it did not sit well with employees.


  • It's not necessarily that print is dead, I think it's that print needs to be updated. Newspapers need to update for online use. I can see some newspapers making readers pay (like they do with actual papers now) in order to view the site, or the full site. No matter what, the news will get out and the papers with the best business sense will find out how to go along with the movement.

    By Anonymous Tesia Smucker, At March 16, 2009 7:36 PM  

  • People can just watch any of the 24/7 cable news stations and get the information faster with their cable packages rather than shelling out some more cash to get a daily paper.

    I know back in South Carolina, our student paper had to be cut from daily to weekly because the demand just wasn't there for a daily dose of information that by the time you got it is a day old. The only thing that separates print from reading online is just the writers that refuse to move into the digital world (and those are few and far between)

    If a paper were to make itself pay for use online, it wouldn't really do anything except alienate its base. People just don't want to pay for something they can get elsewhere for (essentially) free. Same goes for sports sites, such as ESPN Insider, if you know the quirks, you can get around that and get everything for free anyway.

    Overall, between this and the Kindle for example, the way of print is dying. Some (myself included) would prefer physical copies of media (from DVDs to books) rather than digital downloads, but most just like that there is no space requirement and they can get it immediately from whatever device than running to a store. It's not necessarily a bad thing, as much as it is a turnover, and for better or worse, we are likely to own only the right to download something sooner rather than later.

    By Anonymous Scott Rodgers, At March 18, 2009 9:29 AM  

  • Both Time and The Economist commented that the future of newspapers or more accurately the future of news is to make it as easy and economical to acquire as I-tunes, suggesting that the future of news distribution may require that newspaper firms think more in terms of messages or bytes than pages. If we don't start to see some innovation the industry will die. One of the speakers at Alvernia's panel discussion on the journalism ethics mentioned that sometime in the future it may be very clear that the news industry committed suicide when it offered its wares for free on the internet. Time will tell.

    By Blogger kobe2, At March 20, 2009 5:15 PM  

  • I agree with Tesia newspapers should be more up to date with online use. I never thought I would see my dad on the computer but with all the cut backs and changes in the reading eagle he reads everything online. News gets out no matter what format our use of technology now a days things are already outdated by the time its printed.

    By Anonymous Megan G, At April 24, 2009 1:59 PM  

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