Bad News?

Are traditional newspapers doomed?

Photo: Florian Plag. Source: Wikimedia

Ever since the first newsfeed appeared on the web, the traditional news business model – local business ads, subscriptions, and classifieds – was threatened. A few decades ago, newspapers were filled with lots of non-news items: real-estate listings, grocery store coupons, want-ads. These money-making inserts were bundled with a journalistic product that usually focused on a defined geographic area.

Distribution was limited by the cost of physically delivering a bundle of paper. Gradually, each area developed into its own local monopoly, usually with just one major paper per city. When the internet arrived with newsfeeds and specialized websites for sports or cars or real-estate or job-listings, the news business was turned upside-down. Over the last 20 years, lots of major papers have gone bankrupt: the Chicago Tribune, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and others.

Newsroom in Poland. Photo: Pawel Janczaruk. Source: Wikimedia

The papers didn’t go away, though. Journalism now is more competitive than ever. Its principal product – a finely crafted story – is always in demand, but stories be distributed to anyone, anywhere for essentially nothing. Information travels at the speed of the web. The New York Times now competes with the Los Angeles Times and The Manchester Guardian for readers, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine has a gorgeous mobile app.

Revenues from the news business aren’t drying up. The rivers of cash are branching out into myriad streams of targeted ads, web subscriptions, and streaming video services. As an ancient poet once observed: nothing ever perishes, but everything changes.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA

Charter Trust Company

“The Best Trust Company in New England”

By |2018-05-24T06:30:01+00:00May 24th, 2018|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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