In a commentary in the San Francisco Chronicle, a writer suggests that newspapers and wire services gather together and embargo news from the Internet for 24 hours.
The writer suggests that there isn’t enough advertising revenue online for newspapers ever to maintain the proper level of Internet presence to compete with online news portals such as Google News and Yahoo.
I have to disagree because it seems like another “we must maintain our newspaper sanctity” arguments I’ve been hearing for years. Newspaper people think they need to protect their turf. Perfectly fine, but it also leads to stubbornness and closed-mindedness.
First off, there is research showing the revenue dollars available on the Web is growing. In fact, the amount of revenue newspapers are receiving from Internet advertising is growing as well. Advertising is there to be had.
Smaller newspapers need to focus on local advertisers. Those are the people who are going to advertise online. Plus, the advertising agents need to remind the clients that online they will be reaching not only people currently in the area but those who are visiting and potentially moving there.
Secondly, just because a newspaper withholds information online doesn’t mean that the televisions are going to stop reporting the news. People are still going to know about events that are happening because of the 24-news channels. Plus there are news agencies that only work in the online world.
In other words, coming together and denying news on the Web is only going to hurt newspapers more.