Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Environmentalists Cheer Death of Newspapers

As the U.S. ponders the future of journalism without a vibrant newspaper industry, one group is quietly cheering its demise – environmentalists.
The Web is full of posts by people complaining that newspapers kill trees and that the production and transportation of newspapers pollute the environment.
For instance, Social Times writer Nick O’Neill posted an article Jan. 19 titled, “The Only Things Newspapers Are Good for is Killing Trees.” He says he’d love to see the newspaper industry go belly up. “Selling daily papers is simply a waste of paper,” he says. Although he mourns the loss of quality journalism, he thinks somehow online news will fill the gap. But he admits there isn’t a decent business model for it yet.
On Monday, the Ann Arbor News in Michigan announced that it will print its last edition in July and replace it with an online product.
The 174-year-old newspaper will cease and its owners will start a new online media company called LLC to provide local news and information.
On March 17, Hearst Corp. printed its last Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper and turned it into an online-only operation, with a fraction of the news writing staff.
On Feb. 27, E.W. Scripps & Co. shut down the 150-year-old Rocky Mountain News in Denver.

(Photo of last issue of the Rocky Mountain News above.)

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