Friday, February 27, 2009

Publishing and newspapers

I saw a report last night on the news that, although it wasn't entirely unexpected, was rather shocking. I know with the rise of the internet that newspapers have been having a tough time making their numbers, but to see large papers like the LA Times declaring bankruptcy and the NY Times struggling financially is hard to fathom. What will our world be like with no more newspapers. Will political corruption run rampant as one of the people interviewed suggested?

I have a good friend from high school who is a reporter for the LA Times. She got a degree in journalism from a prestigious university. What is this going to mean for her? For other journalists? Will newspapers become a thing of the past in the next 10-15 years?

Do y'all think that all those (future) out-of-work journalists will try their hand at writing novels or will they stick to "the facts"? Maybe they will head toward magazines or TV? How will this impact us as writers?


Natalie said...

Yeah, interesting question. I think you'll see a lot of this move online. At least I hope. I get most of my news online.

beth said...

I don't think newspapers are dying--just changing. People will still subscribe, but they'll subscribe through their Kindle or whatever. Reporters could become paid bloggers. Who knows? This electronic age is exciting, isn't it?!

Kate Levin said...

It is an interesting question. I don't know how substantial the jump will be, but I definitely think journalists will try their hand at writing novels, if for no other reason than because it's something interesting to do while looking for a job. And perhaps many will write non-fiction books.

Kate Levin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justus M. Bowman said...

"Will political corruption run rampant as one of the people interviewed suggested?"

I doubt politicians will become more corrupt simply because people receive their news from a different medium.

Lori Tiron-Pandit said...

I too have a degree in journalism and I write fiction. But the truth is, I only studied journalism because in Romania at the time (I don't know about nowadays) there was no such thing as creative writing.I just wanted to learn the technicalities of writing.

Journalists are writers who have the ability to abide by very strict rules, but still have a "voice" in the process. It's a very tough job, and I for one never could do it well.

But I think any experienced print press journalist would make a great fiction writer. The problem is that writing is not a "real" job, so I don't know how many could settle for just that, not to mention that many are probably addicted to the adrenaline rush of the news world, which one can never get isolated in a room in front of a computer. (thank God, cause that's the last thing that I need)

lotusgirl said...

Natalie, I get most of my news online as well. I don't want to deal with all that paper.

beth, I don't think news will disappear just the news on paper. I think most of it will go online. Which will leave a lot of journalists out of work.

Kate, I think there will be a little of everything.

Justus, I agree with your assessment. When I heard that line, I looked at my husband and laughed. Really? There would be more corruption? He said that journalists like to think they help keep politicians honest. (think Woodward and Bernstein)

Lori, I think you're right that a lot of reporters would miss that adrenaline rush.

spinregina said...

Ah, I must be a throwback.

I love actual newspapers. I love to have my coffee in the morning and scan the local; on Fridays and Saturdays I get one of the nationals and it's a total treat. The inky fingers and the debate over the proper newspaper sharing etiquette...all of it, I love.

This past week our local shrunk the paper size and now the columns read funny. At first I was incensed, of course now, already, I'm used to it.

I hope that they figure out ways to make it work. I can't imagine a world where I can't clip a column and stick it to the fridge. The latest says "Watching housework a turn-on?" and the caption has a poster that has a man vacumming alongside a sign that says "porn for women." It would become lost to me had I found it on the net, somehow the print form has a greater impact.

I digress. It's the red wine with supper; I'm always a little drunk at this time.

PJ Hoover said...

Yeah, newspapers will have to adapt, just like everything else. I personally never read one, but that's just me.

JaneyV said...

Newspapers will adapt by converting to different media. They'll be available online to your e:book, they'll have their own TV channel as well as being available on paper for those who like getting inky fingers while they're having their croissants and coffee. The advent of tabloid newspapers and TV channels like Fox News which dumb down news and turn it into entertainment will always require an antidote I just hope that the media moguls who own the more serious newspapers are willing to invest in the change.

lotusgirl said...

Kristen, I think there's a crowd of people like you, but it is diminishing. I love your clipping. LOL!

PJ, Yeah they will have to adapt or die.

Janey, I can see the newspapers investing more in their websites. I think that just about all TV news has turned it into entertainment. They sensationalize everything. It's annoying and bad journalism.

giddymomof6 said...

Wow! It is something to think about... I can't imagine life without newspapers... but then again, we don't buy them... LOL! Maybe that's it... maybe the rising generations aren't buying newspapers like our parents do? Jenni

Lady Glamis said...

Wow, that really is scary! I'm not sure what to think about that since is the first I've heard that they declaring bankruptcy. I just can't see newspapers leaving... what would be next? Books? My heart is sinking.

lotusgirl said...

Jenni, We don't buy them either. I just don't want to deal with recycling all that paper. I can get my news from lots of other sources.

Glam, I was shocked when I heard they were declaring bankruptcy, but people just don't buy papers like they used to and so it's hard to get the advertisers that pay for everything. Advertisers have a limited amount of funds and more of them are opting to go online. I think. I don't think this is the same as books though. I haven't bought a paper in ages, but I buy books every month.