Times Columnist Carr Talks About Future Of Newspapers

After writing about future of his own paper in his column yesterday, New York Times media columnist David Carr appeared on “BBC World News America” on BBC America last night to talk about the fate of daily newspapers.

Carr told “BBC World News America” anchor Matt Frei, that he is more excited than ever to work at the Gray Lady since the current climate of shutting down newsrooms “has made the kind of information that we make and manufacture every single day, indeed by the hour, all the more important.”

In the interview, as in his column, Carr acknowledged that the Times has to come up with some new ways to generate revenue. Despite the fact that its Web site has 20 million readers and, according to Carr, “3 million people that stop by all the time throughout the day.”

“There should be a business if you’ve got 3 million people that can’t take their eyes off of you,” Carr added. “You’d think that there’d be a pretty good business in that.”

For Carr, the biggest loss resulting from blogs overtaking newspapers as a main source of information is the disappearance of huge newsrooms and daily beat reporters who can investigate and filter news.

“The Huffington Post has got a nascent investigative unit that they’ve started…The Daily Beast broke some news the other day. But those are episodic efforts,” Carr told Frei. “The thing about daily journalism is that it’s a grinding, chronic exercise that requires you to wake up and do the same thing every day, some of which…is not all that glamorous and fun. It’s not like just sitting in a basement and wising off in a blog. Even though I do that, too.”

We can tell you from personal experience that daily blogging isn’t that fun and glamorous, either. We were agreeing with Carr, up until that point. Although blogs will probably never be able to replace newspapers in terms of size of newsrooms and money available to investigate and travel, their ability to get in the trenches and deliver breaking news (although its sometimes gossipy or snarky) is exactly why readers flock to them. Carr may have lost us for a moment, but we do agree that prestigious papers like the Times need new strategies in order to survive and thrive moving forward.

What do you think about Carr’s take on the future of the Times and newspapers in general?