I’ve been reading some on newspapers and their troubles lately.
First, new technology makes old technology obsolete: the Pony Express was replaced by the telegraph, typewriters by computers, etc. Newspapers are suffering the same fate – they're being replaced by the net. Unfortunately for them, the newspapers are the old technology.
Going to the Wawa everyday (for those of you not from the Northeast, think of 7-11), I see very few people buying them, and those that do are always over 30, a really bad demographic for the newspaper industry.
And with instantaneous access and the 24-hour news cycle we now enjoy (Or don’t. That’s your call.), a printed sheet of paper is out of date by the time it hits the newsstand.
Third, people have grown to expect their news for free, from the networks, from CNN and Fox News (whatever you think of them), from the radio. So, for newspapers to charge for their content is an uphill proposition at best, especially if CNN.com, FoxNews.com, and others are still offering their content for free.
It’s really hard to see most newspapers surviving this, other than the major national papers – which will still struggle but will have a chance, at least – and those that serve small towns.
Other than that, newspapers are doomed. Progress – if you want to call it that – is inevitable.