Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Should it stay or should it go: News outlets scramble to cover Britain’s decision to exit the European Union
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Nov. 5, 2008, 4:43 p.m.

The last great day for the American newspaper?

My friend Tommy Tomlinson — Charlotte Observer columnist and current Nieman Fellow here — writes an idea that’s been churning in my head today:

I wonder if today was the last great day of the American newspaper. Printed copies sold out everywhere and lots of places (including my home paper in Charlotte) had extra press runs this morning and sold bookoodles of papers on the street. I’m thinking the printed paper will never have another day like this one.

I tried to pick up a New York Times this morning here in Cambridge — six stops, no papers. (A decent number of Boston Globes, though.) Gawker hit on this earlier today; as one commenter put it: “Actually, everyone’s just in line to get the historic LAST historic first NYT cover – by 2012 all it will be is the one-sheet they hand out for free at the gym.” For the record, if you want a copy of today’s NYT, the number for the back copy department is 800-543-5380. Here’s a photo of people standing on line at Times HQ this morning to buy a copy of the paper.

I never thought I’d type that sentence.

Tommy has another point:

I also wonder if the future of the print newspaper business might be based on commemoratives. Most of the people who bought today’s paper bought it as a keepsake — something that doesn’t translate to the Web. So maybe some webcentric paper of the near future puts out a print edition only for special occasions — the hometown football team makes the Super Bowl, the NASCAR race comes to town, a new president gets elected, etc.

POSTED     Nov. 5, 2008, 4:43 p.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Should it stay or should it go: News outlets scramble to cover Britain’s decision to exit the European Union
Online, readers stayed up for the results: Peak traffic to BBC News, for instance, was around 4 a.m. GMT, and by 11 a.m. BBC.com had received 88 million page views.
Acast wants to get new audiences “in the podcast door” with more diverse shows and better data
With a new paid subscription option and its sights set on non English-speaking countries, the Swedish podcasting startup is looking for listeners (and shows) beyond the iTunes set.
“Medium’s team did everything”: How 5 publishers transitioned their sites to Medium
What happened when Pacific Standard, The Ringer, The Awl, The Bold Italic, and Femsplain moved their sites over to Medium.
What to read next
0Spain’s Eldiario.es has 18,000 paying members, and its eye on the next several million
“We have a potential of six million readers. You may not convince all six million people to be your socios, but if you learn more about their interests, you can get closer.”
0The Washington Post is testing out a few new hurdles for non-paying online readers
The Post is now asking readers to submit their email in order to read stories without paying.
0This new collaboration hopes to aid the endless debates about media with some actual hard data
“For a long time, I’ve wanted to try to put more data and quantitative analysis behind some of the claims and questions we ask around underrepresented and misrepresented stories in online spaces.”
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
Los Angeles Times
Mozilla
The New Yorker
PolitiFact
American Public Media
Voice of San Diego
San Diego News Network
Foreign Policy
The Globe and Mail
The Washington Post
Creative Commons
The Weekly Standard