As you have probably heard, today was the last day for a print edition of the Seattle P.I. newspaper. Less than a month ago, the Denver Rocky Mountain News shut down for good. With Seattle and Denver being major US cities, I'd say we are entering a new age of news and media.
What I don't get though is the sadness surrounding these shutdowns. I've read story after story that says we should be sad and unhappy about these changes. That the economy we are facing is to blame and if not that, it must be the owners that are to blame....awful people that don't care about you and me! The Rocky Mountain News even produced a (great) video that I can only presume was meant to make us feel bad for the employees of the now defunct paper.
The reality is that it's not an economic issue or an ownership issue. The real issue is a failure to adapt. The failure to adapt is a failure of the leadership. Traditional newspapers that don't adapt are being slaughtered both on and off the web. People are not reading less news. People are not caring less. There is no lack of news, there is no lack of interesting stories. Companies still advertise, people still want to sell their stuff.
So why should I feel bad because these companies had poor leadership that made poor business decisions? Should I feel sorry for an industry that fought long and hard to ignore new technology and hold onto the past?
In the case of the Seattle P.I., they are going to an online only model. If I were them, instead of saying "woa is me, we have to go to online only, isn't that sad" I'd proclaim that the paper is a leader in the industry. That the paper should be looked at as an example of how to adapt, how to be on the cutting edge.
But no....woa is them.
-Jeff the Great