The big story today involves the problems that the Washington Post are currently facing. The Post will close three U.S. bureaus (Chicago, Los Angeles, New York) by the end of the year to cut costs. The Post said that the six correspondents in those three cities “will be offered reassignments in Washington, while three news assistants will be let go.”
Like any newspaper, times are obviously tough. But those that are weathering the storm and will survive the information age are the ones that understand the importance of the internet. There is multimedia, podcasts, photo slideshows and all kinds of new media right now. It’s constantly expanding and pretty soon we’ll be in a Web 3.0 world.
The thing that surprises me through all of this is that some newspapers — and some are no more stubborn than the Washington Post — can’t grasp the fact that newspapers are local anymore. The Post is a national paper. Heck, the Post is an international paper. I would guess, and I would bet money on this, that the most of the readers who head to the Post’s website do so for national and international news. Even what happens in Washington (e.g. legislation and politics) has an impact on a national and international level.
A post on True/Slant by Ethan Epstein discuss this as well. He writes that “despite what the editor of the Post pretends not to realize, in the age of the internet, all news organizations are national news organizations.”
This could not be truer. Newspapers no longer cater to their local setting, they can be read online by anybody, anywhere, at any time of the day. Locals are not the only ones who care to read about a newspaper. I go to the New York Times’ website, but I don’t live in that city. I’ve visited the Post’s site, but I don’t live in Washington. There are many, many different newspaper websites that I have stumbled upon that I have never even visited.
The truth of the matter is that there newspapers and journalists don’t belong in just one city. They can be “located” there, but that’s not where the news is. The newspapers that succeed will report on what the people want. And considering the people are all over the world, that’s what they will do.