'Thinning out the dodo birds'

Dateline: Tue 21 Apr 2009

Friends such as Lalita Amos, Tom Henderson and this correspondent, Greg Wright, remind us that we are deep in the middle of a revolution when it comes to media -- and we are in Kindle territory. (Nod to Lalita; still have to see how the Kindle kindles...)

Wright is a businessman, and I appreciate his views here. He tried to comment on my post on newspaper bailouts, but for whatever reason, it did not take. So here is his bracing perspective:

"My best friend was a printing broker for many years and retired seeing this business both move to Asia and decline. My personal conclusion is that print reporting is going to be replaced by electronics. This includes newspaper, magazines, and books. Gone. Gone. Gone. Get used to it.

"Except for the Wall Street Journal, I no longer subscribe to print news. Most of my local news comes from blogs like yours. When I read the Star's editorial staff on-line, they increasingly quote the blogs. My friends in broadcasting check in with the blogs hourly. I link several to my Blackberry. Yea, I'm a news junky.

"When I get my Kindle, it is gone to all but a rare future purchases of a print paperback or hardcover book. Why did we ever build that new library? See the recent WSJ article on Kindle - you can read them on line. When I get mine, its a good by to the print WSJ subscription and I will read it on my Kindle as well. Thank you very much. Where do the newspaper delivery folks go for work?

"Recessions - even deep recessions - are economic mother nature's way of thinning out the dodo birds, buggy whips and tube-powered TV technology. This economic down turn (maybe even a depression) is starting at one of the weakest sectors - print news. Next, probably broadcast "main stream" news media. If you are a journalist or want to be a journalist, don't go into print or even broadcast journalism. If you have a narrow and much-in-demand technical specialty, you might be okay . . . for a short while.

"The survivors of this economic bubble bust won't be newsprint, traditional reporting, or publishing. Advertising will also get a serious haircut along the way. Sorry. Re-tool, look for a handout from government stimulus, or simply quit. Good luck.


Greg Wright


Business Insurance - All Lines"


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