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As Newspapers Cut, Analysts Ask if Readers Will Remain

Seppuku

(NYT > Business Day) – Some daily newspapers are cutting printing and delivery schedules and shifting their emphasis to the Web, but industry analysts warned that such moves might alienate once-loyal readers.

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Personally, I think newspapers are committing seppuku when they scale back their printed editions. It's nice to read your newspaper on an electronic device, and most people I know do some form of it every day. But the iPad version of a newspaper doesn't tell you what the editors think is the important stuff. Only a screaming front page does that. Also, on electronic platforms all content is essentially the same and nothing ever gets finished. You read for a little while, then it's time to feed your virtual fish, launch an angry bird or two and look at entertaining wardrobe malfunctions. Newspaper, magazine and book publishing is filled with people who hate their own business. They wish they were in another one. They think they're all doomed. You can't succeed with that kind of headset. They're brewing their own self-fulfilling prophesy. Like, a few weeks ago I had lunch with an ultra-hipster dude from a newspaper who shall remain nameless except that it thinks very highly of itself. "I never read the physical newspaper," this guy says to me, adjusting his wood-framed glasses. "This guy is so smart he's stupid," I thought to myself. But I figured what the hell. It's his funeral, not mine. 

 

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