So what’s killing newspapers?
David Berkowitz notes correctly that it isn’t search engines (or even any aspect of the Internet). Readership decline started long before there was ARPANET (Berkowitz didn’t go back far enough in his research — readership decline started in the 1920s).
I’ve long been of the mind that while the Internet poses many new challenges for newspapers, it opens up just as many opportunities.
To me, it isn’t newspapers that need saving, but the media companies that publish them, so that newspaper journalism (improved by multimedia and user-generated content) can continue. And it’s not just the content that matters. It’s the advertising, too. That, too, is part of the community that newspapers serve and the vital service they provide. Newspapers play an important role in helping local economies thrive.