It’s hardly a Damascene moment, but it occurred to me the other day how rarely these days you see people reading printed newspapers.

There is nothing good about this.  Like HMV disappearing, it isn’t just a matter of people getting content from somewhere else.  It isn’t like buying your salad online rather than in a shop.

The issue is that it represents a loss of revenue – or perhaps a transfer of revenue – away from ‘makers’ and towards ‘distributors’.  For the newspapers, struggling to maintain quality journalism and reporting – together with all the infrastructure that involves – people not buying a newspaper is money going out of the industry.  It’s not like buying your salad from somewhere else.  That money might end up in a different part of the salad industry, but it at least stays somewhere in that industry.

As a senior figure from, I think, the New York Times said not too long ago – “Google may do a good job of aggregating content, but we’re the ones that have a bureau in Iraq, not Google”.

Or something like that anyway.

It seems to me something very radical might have to happen to newspapers.   Perhaps a public wi-fi that can be only be used to access Newspaper web sites?

Get me Mr Murdoch on the phone, will you? *


* This isn’t just a flippant comment – The Cloud Public Wifi is already part of his empire….

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