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Do newspapers have a role anymore?

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filmforever
15 Apr 2011 - 6:10 PM

I used to be an insatiable reader of newspapers, as well as once working in the profession. Now I rarely bother. These days they seem to be struggling to find a role for themselves, with 24 hour news being provided on TV or the internet. Their feature writing is often bland, the subject matter invariably consumer orientated. The weekend colour supplement of a "quality" paper I bought recently, bore an unfortunate rersemblance to a Harvey Nicks store catalogue.

Much of the photo content comprises meaningless snaps of "celebrities" arriving and departing here, there and everywhere. Some tabloids have gone so far down the "celebrity" route, they should perhaps re-title themselves "Adult Comics".

Where are our newspapers going?......I couldn't care less about whether or not Cheryl Cole is leaving the "X" Factor .....neither am I interested in knowing where I can buy the most expensive handbag in Mayfair.......I would, however, be interested to read about conservation matters, things that affect the lives of ordinary people, intelligent analysis of news issues, parhaps the odd historical feature.......do I ask too much?

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15 Apr 2011 - 6:10 PM

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lobsterboy
lobsterboy Site Moderator 1014171 forum postslobsterboy vcard United Kingdom13 Constructive Critique Points
15 Apr 2011 - 6:27 PM


Quote: Do newspapers have a role anymore?

Can't see one myself, even The Times on the iPad seems more like the last gasp of an obsolete technology to me.
Newspapers only really exist because they were the cheapest way of distributing news, now we can pick and choose what we want from an infinite number of sources.

Quote:
I would, however, be interested to read about conservation matters, things that affect the lives of ordinary people, intelligent analysis of news issues, parhaps the odd historical feature...

It would be nice, I think the future lies in some really sophisticated content agregators that not only grab the sort of thing you are interested in from accroos the web, but also suggest other topics that might be of interest. There are plenty of such sites out there, but none of the ones I have seen feel really right to me yet.

Last Modified By lobsterboy at 15 Apr 2011 - 6:27 PM
justin c
justin c  104537 forum posts England36 Constructive Critique Points
15 Apr 2011 - 6:35 PM


Quote: Do newspapers have a role anymore?

They most certainly do, I wouldn't dream of opening a tin of paint or varnish on my kitchen worktop without a newspaper firmly in place underneath, just in case.

Geoffphoto
15 Apr 2011 - 6:35 PM

God - I hope so, I'm out of a job else !!!!!!! Sad

Camairish
Camairish  81276 forum posts Scotland
15 Apr 2011 - 6:58 PM

Wrapping fish suppers. Tapping your phone. Starting the fire in winter. Of course they still have a role to play.

lemmy
lemmy  71946 forum posts United Kingdom
15 Apr 2011 - 7:34 PM


Quote: Newspapers only really exist because they were the cheapest way of distributing news, now we can pick and choose what we want from an infinite number of sources.

What gets forgotten is that most of the media you pick and choose from get their news from the newspapers. Google etc don't have news teams, photographers, feature writers. They just index stuff from other people who do. Take away the sources and what are Google left with?

There are always the TV companies but their news is very limited, little in the way of features and so on. If there were no newspapers, you'd effectively just have the BBC for news and features. I love the Beeb but their liberal/ left centre/ London centred approach gets a bit boring at times, even though it is fundamentally my personal politics.

The other source of news is the big agencies, AP, AFP etc. They require paying for their services. The newspapers use them and pay - Google, Yahoo etc do not and never would.

I personally think that technology like the iPad Is the future of newspapers. If it isn't you won't have a choice of news sources at all. Competition and diversity is a necessary part of a healthy media industry, just as it is of a healthy democracy. One of the problems the west has is that we've had democracy and freedom of information so long and so easily we don't appreciate the value of it any more.

Elsewhere in the world, in Libya and many other countries, people are dying in pursuit of what we have.

lobsterboy
lobsterboy Site Moderator 1014171 forum postslobsterboy vcard United Kingdom13 Constructive Critique Points
15 Apr 2011 - 8:02 PM


Quote: Take away the sources and what are Google left with?

I think The Huffington Post has shown that you don't need all the traditional infrastructure to deliver the sort of news people want (its not want I, want but it seems quite popular..bit like most newspapers). Things are changing and shipping newspapers around is never going to be able to complete with shipping bits around the web.

filmforever
15 Apr 2011 - 8:10 PM

I personally think that technology like the iPad Is the future of newspapers. /quote]

If this is the case, it doesn't bode well for the future of news/feature photography. The reproduction size of pictures on newspaper web-sites is tiny, compared with newspapers, giving the photographer no chance of a decent feature spread,
There will be little point investing in expensive SLR digis, even a mobile phone camera could probably produce adequate picture quality for the size needed on an iPad.

ChrisTom
ChrisTom  672 forum posts United Kingdom
15 Apr 2011 - 8:12 PM

Have not purchased a newspaper, for more than forty years.
Use the local free papers, for spreading over workshop bench, to soak up oil etc. Also good for keeping the frost, from the plants in greenhouse.

Chris R.

lobsterboy
lobsterboy Site Moderator 1014171 forum postslobsterboy vcard United Kingdom13 Constructive Critique Points
15 Apr 2011 - 8:19 PM


Quote: There will be little point investing in expensive SLR digis, even a mobile phone camera could probably produce adequate picture quality for the size needed on an iPad.

Depends if the App lets you zoom in or not. If you can do that, then resolution may become more important than ever.
Imagine what fun the conspiracy theorists would have with a a Gigapixel image of the Kennedy Shoootings - they could zoom right in to see the puff of smoke on the grassy knoll Smile

lemmy
lemmy  71946 forum posts United Kingdom
15 Apr 2011 - 9:00 PM


Quote: Things are changing and shipping newspapers around is never going to be able to complete with shipping bits around the web.

I can't see the difference between between a newspaper on paper and a newspaper on a pad (other than the traditional name Wink)

However, they both need news teams, photographers, feature writers etc. The point about the web is that everyone thinks everything should be free. Where will you find talented feature writers etc to work for nothing? How do they afford to do it?

I understand that many people have no interest in news, opinion and the world about them, Chris and why should they? But I see no reason to see it as a Badge of pride, either.

We were the future once, we've had our turn. As people in the middle east and east clamour for self-expression and information, we profess not to care about it or about its death.

If news sources are to die because no one will pay for them, then so be it. Everything changes. It is in the nature of the world that as one set of people decline, others, less soft, more vibrant, more ambitious, take over.

lobsterboy
lobsterboy Site Moderator 1014171 forum postslobsterboy vcard United Kingdom13 Constructive Critique Points
15 Apr 2011 - 9:17 PM


Quote: I can't see the difference between between a newspaper on paper and a newspaper on a pad

Transport costs, printing costs, the newsagents cut, etc,etc.


Quote: Where will you find talented feature writers etc to work for nothing? How do they afford to do it?


There are plenty of writers out there working for on-line magazines/blogs that are making a living from advertising revenue.

lemmy
lemmy  71946 forum posts United Kingdom
15 Apr 2011 - 10:23 PM

Lobsterboy, you shouldn't try to patronise me or make me look a fool. I have been in national newspapers and international magazines all of my life as a photographer I'd imagine that I'd have as much personal experience of media as you.

I mean, I don't see the difference to the reader ( yes, I know, one is on paper and one is screen, duh!).

And your blogger or online magazine, will they have news bureaux and stringers across the world? If not, where will they get their information? The income from ads on a blog won't pay for it.

If they get it from TV, why do you need them, the bloggers and online magazines, as an intermediary? You can watch it for yourself.

Jestertheclown
15 Apr 2011 - 10:36 PM


Quote: If they get it from TV, why do you need them, the bloggers and online magazines, as an intermediary? You can watch it for yourself.

Personally, I almost never watch TV and can't remember the last time I saw news programme on there so I would and do need some kind of internet alternative. Even if they get do their news from the TV, for me that's the only news I read.
At the moment I read the Telegraph online to get some idea of the news and sometimes look at the Mail on line for the lighter stuff. (They do occasionally print something that's not related to z-list celebrities or reality TV.)

lobsterboy
lobsterboy Site Moderator 1014171 forum postslobsterboy vcard United Kingdom13 Constructive Critique Points
15 Apr 2011 - 10:40 PM


Quote: Lobsterboy, you shouldn't try to patronise me or make me look a fool.

I'm sorry if you feel that way - that was not my intention.


Quote:
I mean, I don't see the difference to the reader

There isn't, not in the current way they are delivering it. That's why I can only see it failing, bolting an old model onto new technology has never been very successful.


Quote: The income from ads on a blog won't pay for it.

I don't see why not - costs are lower, the economies of scale are larger.
Everything will change, but if people are interested in decent journalism someone will work out a way of delivering it.

mp3s were going to kill music.
digital cameras were going to kill photography.
video on demand was going to kill TV.
The web is going to kill Journalism.

Its a familiar refrain but I have yet to see any evidence of the prophecies of doom coming true.

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