The Difference

Some interesting questions have been raised in response to news of the news industry.

* Slashdot asks: Are Newspapers Doomed?
* The New Yorker
details the many mistakes of the newspaper industry.

The New Yorker asserts that the consumer changed while the newspapers did not. I agree with this in certain respects. Consumers have embraced technology and technology has allowed information to become freer. The game has changed for the consumer, what once they considered valuable is now free.

James Surowiecki of The New Yorker writes:
> The difference is that today they don't have to pay for it.

Consumers have choice and when the competing product costs nothing it is natural that they will chose the least expensive reliable source. So where does that leave the news gathering institutions?

James Surowiecki writes again:
> It would not be shocking if, sometime soon, there were big American cities that had no local newspaper; more important, we're almost sure to see a sharp decline in the volume and variety of content that newspapers collectively produce.

A transition must be made and a balance must be struck between traditional production and electronic distribution.