Friday, February 26, 2010

Fundamental flaw with the business model?

Sabra and I were eating breakfast at Bill Miller's this morning, perusing today's San Antonio Express-News, and this was one of the above-the-fold stories. Pretty newsworthy, eh? Sure it was, but the thing about it is, I had already read that story a good 15 hours before on the Express-News' website. I honestly have to wonder what the people who do this are thinking as they post those stories. If one can read those stories before they hit the print edition of the paper, then what the hell's the point of having a printed paper? I like having a printed paper at least as much as anyone, but which one's better? Obviously, it'd be the Web. I'm sure there are those who will say, "Well, some people can't afford a computer or high-speed Internet." And that may be true, but if they can't afford those, they probably can't afford a newspaper subscription either, much less buying a copy at a buck a day (and $2 on Sundays) from the newsstand. I heard one publisher say he was thinking about putting on the paper's web site, "See tomorrow's news today! Check (paper's web site) at 10 p.m. each night!" And I thought, "I'm sure the advertisers in the printed edition are gonna thank you for your making it unnecessary for the townsfolk to buy said printed edition." There are those who say newspapers are in the shape they're in because of reporters' and editors' bias and such, and while that may be true to an extent, I'd say a hell of a lot more of it is due to media corporations' failure to anticipate changes in the business model and act accordingly. I don't know what can be done about it, but it sure does suck for those in the business.