I have been reading many differences of opinions when it comes to the demise of newspapers here in the United States. My interest was peaked when my husband lost his writing assignment for a small local newspaper. But instead of blaming the newspaper, my husband blamed the economy and for a lack of advertising dollars. You see, he knew that the newspaper he had been writing for was suffering from the recession since California was hit hard.

In speaking with people who still reside in the area, businesses have closed on what could be referred to as ‘main street’. These mom and pop shops could not stay afloat as tourism declined in the area. So how bad have things gotten? One of our friends who has been working in the county building department for 31 years has had her position eliminated. She has been offered another position which pays $4 less an hour. Of course one could look at the situation and say she is looking she will still be working.

With these thoughts in mind, I have been following articles that have been covering the situation with newspapers when I found this interesting article in which the writer stated the following:

Tim Rutten repeats a myth that many newspaper executives have – that there’s no way for them to be successful online unless they figure out a way to extract licensing fees from Google and other search engines.

Newspapers were in trouble before Google existed. They were also quite happy to drop paywalls over the past three or four years to get more traffic from Google. Now that the ad market is going through a downturn, suddenly Google gets painted as the “problem” causing newspaper woes.

There are plenty of web sites that have grown up on the web and make use of it, as well as search engine traffic, to have healthy business models. There is also plenty of good online journalism. Creating some type of newspaper “bailout”  or relaxing anti-trust laws simply allows newspapers as an industry to have an unfair advantage over their real competition, online journalists.

Rather than wasting time scapegoating search engines, let’s see those who care about the state of newspapers look toward more productive areas.

I personally agree with this assessment. Newspaper were reluctant to grasp the Internet and to determine on how to profit from it. The newspapers have been locked into old ideas that we have been doing it this way for years and why should we change? Isn’t this the problem that many of our corporations face today? GM, Ford and Chrysler are perfect examples of what has gone wrong. Instead of changing with the times, and building quality cars like other foreign companies offer, the Big 3 ignored the real world and failed to change with it.

This I believe is what has happened to the newspaper industry. Instead of taking advantage of the Internet they have failed to come up with a viable plan. Now they are pointing fingers at Google and other search engines as to why they are failing.

What do you think?

Please comment.

Source – Daggle