Papers remain top news source | Wally’s World

In case you haven’t heard, let this jolly columnist keep you informed: American newspapers are in big trouble. Many have disappeared during the past 40 years, including several large, really first-class operations like the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Home deliveries and the number of advertisers are all down and, consequently, so are the profits.

In case you haven’t heard, let this jolly columnist keep you informed: American newspapers are in big trouble. Many have disappeared during the past 40 years, including several large, really first-class operations like the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Home deliveries and the number of advertisers are all down and, consequently, so are the profits.

Yet, despite the fact they’re shedding employees big time, the cost of operating a newspaper hasn’t gone down; in fact, just the opposite. What this might mean for a free-lance columnist like myself isn’t especially encouraging. And, college freshmen who plan to major in journalism might want to reconsider.

It’s not that people have quit reading newspapers. To the contrary, there’s evidence that more people are reading them today than ever before. But they’re reading them for free on the Internet and in coffee shops.

Make no mistake about it, newspapers remain our chief source of news. At considerable expense, they maintain an army of reporters scattered around the world, digging up the news. Google and Yahoo, on the other hand, can usurp all the important national and international news from online newspaper reports. Before the headlines are published and printed, a story has already appeared on Google, where it can be up-dated every few minutes as a swiftly-changing story may require. (It’s worth noting that the major TV networks also have their own reporters and Google and Yahoo also “steal” stories from them without any negative consequences, just as they do from newspapers.)

Unfortunately, newspapers haven’t figured out how to charge Google and Yahoo for the news they post or how to charge the people who read it. But now, just as a few nerds have began predicting the end of “print and paper” – not only newspapers, but magazines and books as well– a glimmer of hope appears on the horizon.

Alas, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has purchased the Washington Post for $250 million. Of course, Bezos is a billionaire several times over, yet $250 million isn’t chicken feed and he’d hardly lay out that kind of money on a foolish whim.

I think we can safely assume he knows relatively little about the newspaper business and perhaps that’s just what the business needs: an outsider with fresh ideas. Still, at least for the immediate future, he plans to make few, if any, changes in the Post’s operation.

Nevertheless, I feel his purchase somehow signals a positive turn for the future of newspapers. So perhaps I can hold down this little corner of my world for another few years.

More in Opinion

Living in an era where emotions, opinions outweigh the facts

If you have enough money and political power, you can probably find an expert to endorse your position.

Even with postage paid, voters couldn’t send ballots on time

While those ballots don’t get counted, taxpayers still must pay the Postal Service for delivering them.

Spotting outsiders in our little city

There’s always a way to tell who’s new and who’s ‘in-the-know’ in Enumclaw.

We must move away from identity politics

Mr. Trump recognized the legitimate concerns of the “working class” and socio-economic middle class which have born a disproportionate negative impact from many of Washington’s policies.

Polarizing politics works to squash the moderate middle

The definition of identity politics: “Political attitudes or positions that focus on… Continue reading

Enumclaw VFW cites long list of community service

Our post, although one of the smallest in the state, consistently ranks near the top of all state VFW posts in the amount of community service we provide.

A victory they didn’t want means a fight they worked to avoid

De-Escalate Washington needs to restart the machinery of a campaign to pass I-940.

Deeply held religious beliefs do good in the world

It is truly disheartening to see the eagerness with which people jump on the bandwagon to Christian bash.

Economy rises and falls, regardless of who’s in the Oval Office

History from the time of Harry Truman teaches us that presidents have very little influence on the economy.

SPLC accurately labels hate organizations and people

The SPLC has received my support for many years and will continue to receive my support for their efforts to defend the civil rights of all persons.

Rumbling and rambling on the way to November

The short columns for the upcoming mid-terms.

Shakespeare and sex jokes, Act II

How exactly did you think he became popular with the masses back in the time of the Plague?