Kill the Paper, Save the News
Today the Interactive Advertising Bureau sent out a press release crowing about the continued growth of online advertising.
Short version: Interactive ad revenue up 15 percent for first half of 2008 vs. first half of 2007. Total revenues topped $11 billion for the first six months of ’08.
The day before, my favorite news-about-the-news newsletter, I WANT MEDIA, included the following items, in this order:
It brings me no joy to observe this continued bloodbath in the newsrooms of America.
But the sad litany above is clearly related to the continued rise in digital advertising revenues. Instead of laying off people from newspapers and hiding in the basement, leaders who are dedicated to the future of news just have to quit snorting sawdust and let the newspapers go. Not the news, but the newspapers.
Another item linked to in I WANT MEDIA made the point: Overextended media baron Barry Diller, head of the recently disassembled IAC, talked to the Wall Street Journal.
WSJ: Newspapers are suffering as advertising moves online. You are a director of Washington Post Co. Do you think newspaper companies will survive?
Mr. Diller: If they call themselves newspaper companies they are probably going to be toast. It will depend absolutely on what the product is. We’re still at such an early period to talk about the death of journalism.
Which is to say: There’s hope, but only if you drop the paper–and keep the news.