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Author Topic: can we finally declare US newspapers dead?  (Read 7776 times)
rcjordan
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« on: October 26, 2009, 10:45:55 AM »

Seems like an obit to me:

"only 12.9% of the U.S. population buys a daily newspaper"

"Sunday papers in the last six months reached only 13.5% of American homes"

http://newsosaur.blogspot.com/2009/10/record-plunge-newspaper-circ-at-pre_26.html
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isthisthingon
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2009, 10:57:03 AM »

Yep it sure does.  I'm a huge proponent of our free press but can't imagine why we should continue killing trees to spread the word.  Not just the trees, the oil consumed to physically get it there is so inefficient 
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perkiset
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2009, 11:03:10 AM »

The really interesting question to me will be how they move from a paid paper model to a paid virtual model... or die. And whether or not people are ready to pay for virtual news.

There's a movement afoot that all news-style info should be free: I'm really baffled how you can do that, since reporters et al cost an awful lot of money. It will be interesting.

But yeah, I think newspapers are a dead format walking.
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isthisthingon
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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2009, 11:14:50 AM »

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I'm really baffled how you can do that

Advertisements Undecided
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perkiset
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2009, 11:21:37 AM »

That's a *boatload* of advertisements meng... think on it ... with adverts in the paper as is they still are either really subsidized or 1/2 alive because of subscriptions and direct sales ... if you halve their income (some might be much more) there's be big troubles. And if you consider that the net real estate for advertising won't be *anything* like the paper format, the capability for them to house lots of advertising will be breathtakingly less as well.

I dunno. Big shakeups in the near future IMV.
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rcjordan
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2009, 11:39:43 AM »

I know. Sell out to the Yellow Pages!!

"The crash came as Donnelley went on a buying binge of 'yellow page' directories and online search services, whose profit margins were nowhere near the print margins of print directories."

http://www.courthousenews.com/2009/10/26/RH_Donnelley_Shareholders_Are_Not_Happy.htm

BTW, I understand that one state (Wisconsin, I think) now has a "Do Not Send YP" List so you can keep the damn thing from rotting in your driveway.
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nop_90
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2009, 05:18:38 PM »

Newspapers have been dead since 1980 (give or take).
When my dad worked in the industry he had stats showing that the only people who purchase a newspaper are from the 30+ crowd.
And that circulation was declining (even if on paper it was increasing) because thier market share was decreasing.

Fast forward, 30+ years. That means only people who read newspapers are 60+ crowd which is 15% of population.

At the time my dad proposed ideas/new formats to encourage younger readership.
Having worked for newspaper as a contractor creating a software proggie.
Fuking bunch of dinosours. Basically still thinking they are back in 1910.
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serialnoob
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2009, 10:22:44 PM »

Yep it sure does.  I'm a huge proponent of our free press but can't imagine why we should continue killing trees to spread the word.  Not just the trees, the oil consumed to physically get it there is so inefficient 

This raises another issue: what is the real energetic cost of a web query? I remember watching a documentary on an overly green but apparently serious english mathematician that had figured out that in fact a google query was far from green.
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isthisthingon
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2009, 03:31:50 PM »

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This raises another issue: what is the real energetic cost of a web query? I remember watching a documentary on an overly green but apparently serious english mathematician that had figured out that in fact a google query was far from green.

They miss the point.  It may very well be far from green, or extremely green.  It just depends on how the electricity is provided to google, the network transport middle-men, and finally the reader.  Currently electricity is primarily coal based in the US, which is not green at all.  However, especially in google's case there's a lot more water-powered electricity in Northern California.

In any case, it could hypothetically be entirely solar-wind-hydrothermal-water-nuclear to deliver a page of news online.  It's just a matter of getting the centralized power to be more efficient.  Trees, gas and physically transporting paper around the country will always have a larger green "cost".
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jammaster82
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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2009, 10:59:27 AM »

The internet has killed the newspaper.
The internet has killed the call center.
Tv and Movies are next...  One by One
all the jobs will be assimilated.

Besides, Its so much easier to change the news
when its online too.... like when that
tanker spilled oil off the coast of galicia
about 9 years ago.... the news of it literally
changed and then disappeared.   

RE: Electricity

Electricity should be generated in dormitories full
of rats in wheels hooked up to alternators... hahaha
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serialnoob
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2009, 06:59:11 PM »

Quote
This raises another issue: what is the real energetic cost of a web query? I remember watching a documentary on an overly green but apparently serious english mathematician that had figured out that in fact a google query was far from green.

They miss the point.  It may very well be far from green, or extremely green.  It just depends on how the electricity is provided to google, the network transport middle-men, and finally the reader.  Currently electricity is primarily coal based in the US, which is not green at all.  However, especially in google's case there's a lot more water-powered electricity in Northern California.

In any case, it could hypothetically be entirely solar-wind-hydrothermal-water-nuclear to deliver a page of news online.  It's just a matter of getting the centralized power to be more efficient.  Trees, gas and physically transporting paper around the country will always have a larger green "cost".

I do not wish to necessarely defend my english mathematician, and partly agree with you but if you think in term of a door to door query, it is an entirely different perspective, let alone the power source, ie producing copper, fiber, plastic, subsea install or repair them, launching the satellite as the case may be...

I am far from a "save the planet orthodox" but it was puzzling as in "how much does all this ultimately cost?
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perkiset
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« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2009, 07:07:49 PM »

Seriously, I agree. Everything should be fair game to look at and see what it really costs to deliver, whether it's a google query or piece of IRL spam. At the core of it, there are precious few man-made things that do not have a significant carbon cost, if you dig deeply enough into (the built thing's) lineage.

I actually think it gives greenies more credibility when they can look their own real costs in the eye, so to speak.
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isthisthingon
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« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2009, 10:28:07 PM »

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I am far from a "save the planet orthodox" but it was puzzling as in "how much does all this ultimately cost?

Not just a fair question but a critical one.  There have been many cases, for example, where recycling centers have not had the resources available to actually sort and recycle the "recycling" that they received.  Apparently many times they revert back to traditional disposal and landfill the excess.  So "recycling" in that case actually has an ever larger carbon footprint - but nobody thinks beyond the can they threw their conscience cleanser in.

Another interesting point that I was reminded of reading this thread is the oversold fallacy of hybrids saving the planet.  One of the costs nobody considers is the disposal of all those toxic batteries that will certainly wind up dead after 3-6 years.  Another interesting fallacy regarding hybrids that no one seems to address is the carbon footprint required to get that car on your driveway, not to mention all the excess energy required in manpower, etc.  So when people are dancing around singing songs of green supremacy while housing 4 hybrids in their 3-car garage, one must wonder if it's the image of being green that's really the factor or if trying to actually live a little less wasteful is the root of the behavior. 

Honestly I'm guilty of so many green "sins" I feel stupid even delving into this subject.  I'm really excited to see technological progress and would hope a day comes when mega corporations are no longer able to lift a finger and gouge the world with crippling gas prices.  But although I try to not be overly wasteful, I do seriously enjoy stepping on the pedal in my TL, bomb-ass stereo blaring while wolfing down a philly cheese-steak bacon supreme burger, emptying cans of AquaNet out my moonroof in defiance ROFLMAO
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rcjordan
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« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2009, 11:20:01 AM »

>actual recycling

Just read a story on that a week or two ago. This one is on glass cullets, but the same problem exists in many other recyclables.

"The containers, however, won't be recycled any time soon. Their destination: A mound of glass at the city landfill, a growing monument to the difficulty many communities face in finding a market for a commodity that's too cheap for its own good."

"Nationwide, about 25 percent of glass containers are recycled. That's compared to 31 percent of plastic containers, 45 percent of aluminum cans, and 63 percent of steel cans"

http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091020/BUSINESS07/910200303

>hybrids

Don't get me started. My neighbor wasn't so happy when I pointed out the HUGE hidden cost/depreciation of the $5k battery pack. (Warranted for 100k miles at the time. Costs may have moderated some by now, though.)

In any case, given the energy costs of actually stamping out a new car versus an already existing one, the higher mpg benefit usually falls short on 'green ROI'  ...IOW, keeping on driving the clunker may have lower overall environmental impact.

I'm into passive, or near-passive, energy tech. Have been for years. Built my house 21 years ago using some (still) envelope-pushing stuff and it has paid off pretty well.
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perkiset
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« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2009, 11:52:16 AM »

...IOW, keeping on driving the clunker may have lower overall environmental impact.
exactly. the old clunker's footprint has already been baked into the current situation, so the net impact is pretty minor from here forward. Certainly less than the impact of creating new hybrids.

Personally, I'm looking forward to home-stills that brew hydrogen to power a cell car. That, and completely covering my roof with solar cells would make me quite happy.
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