San Francisco Chronicle… the first of many… to die…
August 7, 2007

I was looking at the news right now, and a post on a blog took my attention… (Go on Techcrunch 😉 ) and I started to think about that news and I came out with two consideration about what is happening…
1 – Internet is killing the newspapers
Internet has all the possibilities and capacities to kill the old journalism, and slowly (not so much) is killing them. First of all we have to think at the main characteristics of the electronic text:

  1. Electronic: Can be stored easily without any need of space, a cheap SD card can contain thousands of documents.
  2. Reachable: Every document can be easily be found by an automated system in seconds just searching for keywords or content.
  3. Duplicable: Can be easily duplicated by everyone without any problem in a couple of seconds without using any further resources.
  4. Editable: Can be edited very easily and the information inside can be copied and pasted in other documents.
  5. Spreadable: The document can be sent to anyone in the world in seconds without waiting nothing on nobody.

Also we have to think about the Journalism 2.0 that can be a blog or an online newspaper and its characteristics:

  1. Real Time: Every news can be updated as it happens and also to report a news there is no necessity to wait the next day edition of the newspaper, but simply create a new post or page on internet and than the RSS and search engines would make the news spread.
  2. Media Supported: Every news can be supported by simply entering images and video, but also hyper-links.
  3. People Supported: You can know if the news had some intest from the people looking at the traffic of the page or looking at the comments/feedback that the users will leave in the page. Also the news can be easily updated with new information by the users themselves that for some reason they know more information than the journalist himself.

Those are all characteristics that the normal newspaper hasn’t… today we have the need to know more than before cause the news comes from new and fastest sources. The people of today hasn’t the time to wait… this is no more in our mind… is a new social factor… and we all have the need to deal with it. The old newspapers are not able to cover the gap created, also if we talk about the quality of the news internet wins. Once the news is posted, there is all the time to update successively the news with new information researches links and media, those are all things that a newspapers are not able to do for the nature of the old business model and for the characteristics of the paper-based text. If we think about the wisdom of famous journalist that worked in the newspaper world and that are considered as gods of journalism, we have to think that in a virtual world there is a thing called meritocracy… and if feared by them cause they know that outside there are new and impressive talents in journalism that internet gave them a voice (a big one) and they have fear to have a decrease in popularity… they have all the reasons to have fear, cause people give merit and consideration to the ones that has talent and good ideas, and internet people doesn’t care who you are and who you know… this is irrelevant… internet looks always to the merit of the person… always…

Other thing to take in consideration is that my generation and the generation after mine are consistently (and increasing) avoiding the use of newspapers preferring internet as the new source of their daily news.

2 – New Tech Trend is not considered
Fondamentally the newspapers are old-business models and they don’t know how to deal with the new technologies and with internet… also cause mostly the “aged” journalist are unable to use internet, so they consider it as useless. To survive they should explore the new opportunities that internet offers like lots of newspapers offer at the moment. Also how happened at the SFC they are going to fire the journalist that were taking care of the hi Tech aspect of the world deleting a really good portion of interesting news, interesting for the people that are going to be the readers of tomorrow… this is almost masochism…

Looking at what the SFC just did has to be taken as an example to understand what not to do, an example on what is going to happen again (soon) and also as the first signal of the end of the old newspaper model.

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