Why don’t the local newspapers acknowledge that the future is online?

One of our social media clients www.Thebusinessdesk.com which started out as a  regional business-to-business news portal a couple of years ago launched its new Thebusinessdesk.comsite for the Midlands yesterday. This is after the success of its North West version which launched last year and is still continuing to thrive. For me the reason Thebusinessdesk.com has been so successful is because it creates good business content (using quality journalists) and is moving with the times both socially and more traditionally.

This got me thinking, even though we all know that newspapers are dying a slow and painful death why don’t they see it and address it now as time is passing them all by quickly?

Why aren’t they focussing all of their efforts into creating better news sites which have everything to offer locally, so people don’t stray from the hard version to better more up-to-date local online news sites or blogs. It may sound obvious but it is still happening with regional after regional dropping down to weekly versions. If they just used a cleverly integrated social and traditional strategy they could keep their audience and make the switch easily but they all seem hell bent on sticking to their traditions and then they end up becoming weeklies having still not sorted the very issue which is beating them.

Only the other day I met the creator of a new local based social network which provides news to it’s local community and the owner told me even though he had contacted the local newspaper to give them free advertisements and access (because he valued their opinion) they refused because they sensed a threat. Let’s face it the local newspapers already have the upper hand on the competition, as they have a captive audience already reading their material and people buying into their material. Everyone else can see this is happening why can’t they and why don’t they address it today?

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2 comments on “Why don’t the local newspapers acknowledge that the future is online?
  1. Thanks Ben – that is a great example of exactly what I am talking about. I agree we will be seeing many more of these. Will it affect the quality of the journalism? I don’t think so because the best will get popular and the poorly written sites will fade keeping the quality standards up there.

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