To those of you who either have worked in newspapers, known someone who has worked for them, or has had either a passing or passionate interest in the information that newspapers convey … you need to read the article I have attached to this blog post.
A former colleague of mine, a one-time production director for a Texas newspaper, brought it to my attention.
Read the article here.
It’s lengthy, but take my word for it: If you have any interest at any level in a changing — and likely dying — industry, it is worth your time.
I won’t spoil the ending for you, but I will offer this nugget of what the article tells us:
The coronavirus pandemic that has shuttered businesses around the world and probably changed our lives forever and ever has brought about a rapid acceleration in the changes that await the newspaper industry.
Ken Doctor, author of the essay, writes: Make no mistake, though: Many of the decisions being made right now and in the next few weeks will be permanent ones. No newspaper that drops print days of publication will ever add them back. Humpty Dumpty won’t put the 20th-century newspaper back together again. There can be no return to status quo ante; the ante was already vanishing.
The trends that were supposed to occur in, say, 2023 or 2025 are occurring right now.
It ain’t pretty, ladies and gentlemen.
I am a former newspaper guy. I spent nearly four decades practicing a craft that I loved. I am officially saddened by what I fear is coming at us much more rapidly than I ever envisioned.