It's no secret that many folks in the newspaper industry are freaked out by the market changes impacting what they do. However, we keep hearing increasingly bizarre suggestions for solutions. My personal favorite is still the idea that Google somehow has a moral obligation to just give money to journalists. The latest such suggestion may be even more far-fetched, with a long article at the Columbia Journalism Review suggesting it's time to start thinking about having the government prop up newspapers (via Romenesko). The good news is that many people asked about this suggestion respond with reasonable distaste (or outright horror) to the idea. The author of the piece brings up examples of government support for news operations, but in almost every case the scenario is quite different. Often, the gov't support is for getting something going in an areas where there's nothing, rather than propping up an industry that has had trouble adapting to a changing marketplace. The fact is that it's silly to think that there really aren't business models that can support a reasonable news operation (and yes, they need to realize it's a news operation, not a newspaper, if they want to survive). The demand for news and information continues to increase, as does the supply. It's certainly shifting business models around, but it's a huge opportunity for those who can spot the economic trends and adapt to them.
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