The internet is a revolution unto itself and it does not rely on any one source of information. It might kill the newspaper but the newspaper is not the only information source for the internet or for that matter, the newspaper is not the only source of information for any of us. Humans learn in three ways: traveling to new places, talking to new people and reading new things. The newspaper like other reading material is a source of information but the internet is using the knowledge of the people to power itself.
People don’t get online just to read the new, these days there are thousands of blogs and other articles that people can read. Let us look at magazines, they are a huge source of information; the BBC hosts a very good and comprehensive website and they do not rely on any newspapers; they have their own correspondents who provide the information and programming material. The same way there are many other TV networks and sports networks that carry news and other information that people may be interested in.
If the newspaper had to fade out, it would have gone with advent of the television but it survived that, the internet of course is a much bigger threat and right now there are actually only 2 countries were the readership of newspapers is increasing. In most developing countries, the newspaper has become redundant and that is because people are able to get their news online. They can get the news on the newspaper website of the websites of different networks. Nowadays some people host their own blogs and connect us to different news stories.
Google of course has gone a step ahead and put 4500 news websites under its search engine to create what it calls as Google News. The challenge now is to stay afloat and find a business model that increases revenue and profits. However, the newspapers are still the torch bearers when it comes to credibility of the media and thus they are more uptight and timid about what they publish. It is more likely for a newspaper to get sued for a wrong publication than a website. The fact that newspapers are still considered to be the watch guards means that a few newspapers still have the respect of the people and the Washington post is one of them.
Very few magazines share the same reputation and The Economist comes very close to the reputation of the Washington Post. The problem for newspapers is that the revenue primarily comes from the print media and there are hardly any paying customers online. The money that is made online is just because of the advertisements and the same advertisements can make a lot more when they are in print media. However, the internet does not suffer from any such challenges – the challenge on the internet is to sort out the information and get it from credible sources.
The internet has a plethora of information contributed by everyone and that is why it is reaching a stage like print media where only a few sources have the reputation of carrying credible information. Internet needs the likes of Google to sort and find the relevant information for each reader and that is where the challenge lies for people who want their news online. The credible news sources are still the newspaper websites or websites of tv networks. Give or take, the internet does not need to rely on the newspaper for its survival but the users of the internet need good newspapers, tv networks and reports to bring them creditable news.
Information however, is a completely different ballgame and anyone on the internet can pass it on or find it at the click of a mouse without waiting for the next morning delivery.
More media, less news Aug 24th 2006 From The Economist print edition retrieved from http://www. economist. com/business/displaystory. cfm? story_id=7827135 on 23rd Oct’06 Jonathan D. Frieden Will the Internet Kill Newspapers? From E-Commerce Law retrieved from http://ecommercelaw. typepad. com/ecommerce_law/2006/04/will_the_intern. html on 23rd Oct’06