The end of history | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The end of history

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 10:10 AM

It's official. Newspapers in one of the country's largest markets -- Detroit -- will no longer be available by daily home delivery in paper form beginning in March. You'll get a "paper" there at home only on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. You can pay for an equivalent digital product by Internet daily for $12 a month.

This isn't totally strange. If your carrier couldn't get to your door today in Arkansas (mine did, early as ever), your paid subscription gave you access to the full Democrat-Gazette on-line. Presuming you own a computer and have an ISP.

As I've said before, I don't like this any more than any other confirmed newspaper junkie. But I can see where it might be the future.

Said a Detroit Gannettoid exec: "There is a day of reckoning coming for newspapers, which in my mind don't change and don't change rapidly."

You could argue that an early arrival of the paperless paper would be good for the public. When you remove printing presses, paper, delivery trucks, printers, carriers, boxes, etc., from the cost side of a newspaper, you have reduced dramatically the capital cost of becoming a news publisher. It will take far less advertising and circulation revenue to sustain a news staff. The end of newspaper monopolies in virtually all cities could mean more information, not less, for readers.

That's a theory, anyway.

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