31 Oct 2008

A sad day

I am a bit low today because, besides it being my last day before going on leave for six months, I also recently learned that the my hometown newspaper, The Star Ledger, is being forced to ‘buy out’ 40 percent of its staff in order to keep from going bankrupt. The Star Ledger, which has a daily circulation of about 350,000 copies, was an institution while I was growing up, covering all the gritty news on the industrial, has been metropolis of Newark, NJ. It was another sign of the sad state of the news industry and one that hit close to home.

But maybe there is some light in the tunnel after all. The Christian Science Monitor just announced its plans to shift from a print strategy to a mainly web-based one, and more and more news organizations are embracing social media and citizen reporting, like with CNN’s iReporters.

So whether or not the Star Ledger will be around in six months is maybe not the issue. Rather it is about whether established news institutions can reinvent themselves in time before the looming recession and shrinking advertising revenues make it too late to do so.


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