Does the idea of a no-newspaper town scare you? According to the Times‘s Richard Perez-Pena this might be where we are heading. And shortly! (We snagged this impressive graphic from the HuffPo media page, by the way).
In 2009 and 2010, all the two-newspaper markets will become one-newspaper markets, and you will start to see one-newspaper markets become no-newspaper markets.
But does it matter? News reporting and newspapers are two different things. Of course, Perez-Pena points to the problem of which we are all painfully (and endlessly) aware, namely: “No one yet has unlocked the puzzle of supporting a large newsroom purely on digital revenue, a fact that may presage an era of news organizations that are smaller, weaker and less able to fulfill their traditional function as the nation’s watchdog.”
Of course, one has to imagine in this age of endless innovation and mass news consumption, this is probably a problem that will be shortly solved. And that the disappearance of actual newspapers won’t necessarily presage then end of “civil society” as Buzz Woolley seems to predict. What say you readers? Leaving aside the fact that until the subways get wired newspapers in this town probably have a fighting chance, what if New York was a no newspaper town by 2010? Would you care?