Thursday, October 26, 2006
By Rebecca Mowbray
Just like New Orleans, the newspaper business has never faced more trying times -- or more opportunities.
As more than 400 newspaper editors and guests gather in New Orleans this week for the Associated Press Managing Editors annual conference, they say the rebuilding city and the groundbreaking work of Gulf Coast newspapers after Hurricane Katrina will be a fitting backdrop for their discussions on how to reshape the news business as more people look to the Internet for information.
"The industry itself is in a major shift," said Suki Dardarian, deputy managing editor at The Seattle Times and president of the APME, "but I am optimistic."
Circulation is declining, ad revenue is sagging, and costs are rising along with newsprint as advertisers and readers are shifting to the Internet.
"That's a huge challenge for newsrooms to not only serve our communities through quality journalism but to do it to through shrinking resources," Dardarian said.
But after years of gloom and doom about newspapers' prospects, Dardarian says the tide is turning. Newspapers now look at the Internet as a source of opportunity and way to reach new readers, and newspapers' financial shape could start to change as advertisers begin to follow readers to the Web.