Well this is certainly depressing. David Carr, the well-known and respected New York Times media columnist, has seen his future and it is grim. In his latest piece — published in a newspaper — Carr proclaims that newspapers are dead.
Carr cites the recent trend of companies — like News Corp., Time Warner, Gannett and Tribune Company — spinning off their print brands and sending them into the unknown abyss as an indicator of print’s health.
He’s right; it’s not looking good. But we’d stop short of the dire tone taken by Carr:
A free-market economy is moving to reallocate capital to its more productive uses, which happens all the time. Ask Kodak. Or Blockbuster. Or the makers of personal computers. Just because the product being manufactured is news in print does not make it sacrosanct or immune to the natural order.
It’s a measure of the basic problem that many people haven’t cared or noticed as their hometown newspapers have reduced staffing, days of circulation, delivery and coverage.
Will they notice or care when those newspapers go away altogether? I’m not optimistic about that.
Of course we also don’t work for a newspaper. Maybe it’s easier to see a cloud’s silver lining when you’re not constantly getting rained on.