Sunday, February 28, 2010

One papah town?!?

So, the Star Bulletin is buying out the Advertiser and if approved would leave Honolulu with just 1 daily newspaper.

About 10 years ago, I had strong feelings against it when the Advertiser was looking to buy out the Bulletin. But now - feh.

I believe we still need good journalism and a strong Fourth Estate, but has print medias time past? We don't really telegraph anymore, but I don't think the interwebs is yet up to that task.

Does this concern you? Monopolization of a dead market? Is there already enough democratization and diversity of news sources? Does this matter?

Does this affect Odori?



odori said...

I really want to answer this but I don't have time just now! I will write soon.

kamapuaa said...

Wow, they still print newspapers? Next you'll be telling me they still print encyclopedia sets.

sokeripupu said...

the problem is that no one has figured out how to properly make money from online news sources.

and bloggers and other online non-newspaper sources are all well and good, but when it comes back to it, almost every reputable news story is sourced back to the AP or a newspaper. tv news stations cover the basics, but there's no real in depth coverage. and increasingly online content, be it on newspaper or tv news sites, is not edited at all so it has factual and grammatical errors.

the problem is, now there's no money to be made from print newspapers. it's a real problem. i think the solution might be to create nonprofit news institutions, sort of like universities. they might or might not have print editions, but they could have the kind of in-depth coverage that is missing from most internet and tv news. one drawback is that news sources might be beholden to their funders, but that's already the case with advertisers, so whatever!

another alternative is a state-run news media. sounds scary and orwellian, but it seems to work just fine with the bbc.

kamapuaa said...

The BBC model doesn't cover print, does it?

sokeripupu said...

no, but i don't see any reason it couldn't.

odori said...

It's sad to see newspapers die but both Honolulu papers are weak versions of what they used to be. Not like they were ever tremendous newspapers, but at least they covered important issues more thoroughly than now.

For example, neither has an environmental beat reporter anymore even though we live in a state that has more endangered species than any other, is home to 85 percent of the nation's coral, etc etc.

I'm confident alternatives will spring up that will give us more choices for information.

I'm hopeful these alternatives will join the surviving newspapers in holding accountable government officials, large corporations and public interest groups.

Like sokeripupu says they could be non-profit organizations.

Or they could be like Pierre Omidyar's online site Peer News. We don't know what this is going to look like yet, but it's promising. (And interestingly, Omidyar is insisting Peer News be for-profit. He thinks news organizations have to make money to be viable in the long-term.)

I have some sympathy for for reporters (like me!) and editors who have to figure out how to survive in this era.

And it's horrible to see great institutions wither.

But people aren't reading their news on newsprint anymore, so reporters, editors and media chiefs have to figure out how to deliver news to places where people are getting it.

As for whether it affects me - immediately no. In the long-term, maybe, because my employer collects money from newspapers and we lose revenue when newspapers die.

But my company is trying to prepare for changes like this and is busily searching for new revenue sources online. I hope we are successful.