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Newspapers’ bad news
Are American dailies dying, or can they get readers to come back?
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irculation dropped 4.6 percent, on average, at U.S. newspapers from March to September, said Tim Windsor in Zero Percent Idle, which “is not exactly a surprise,” but “disappointing nonetheless.” And these numbers, from the Audit Bureau of Circulation, don’t reflect the fallout from the financial panic. But hey, “a crisis gives you the cover to make bold moves, and this certainly qualifies as a crisis.” Which big daily will go all-online first? Or become free?

Looking at the “looming depression,” you have to wonder “if the media landscape will survive in any recognizable form,” said Andrew Sullivan in The Atlantic online. If newspapers lose subscribers during the “most riveting campaign stories in modern times,” when will they rebound? Newspapers are needed for democracy to survive.

“There is a future for print media,” said Jack Myers in The Huffington Post. It’s the large newspaper companies, saddled “with heavy costs and debt,” that are in trouble, largely because they have been "unwilling and unable to embrace change.” Most have added blogs, and that's great. But what about adding video, or capitalizing on their archives? Wanted: A new business model.

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