Daily Show: Newspapers Are Dead

“What’s black and white and completely over? Give up. It’s newspapers,” Jon Stewart said Tuesday night on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”

Citing several news reports, Stewart made the case that the Internet, especially online classified sites such as Craigslist, is behind the demise of the print product because it is siphoning away advertising revenue.

Though I agree that times are tough for newspapers and the entire journalism world is currently in a state of flux, I can’t agree with the thought the print product will completely disappear.

Being a weekly newspaper editor, I see the potential for a strong online presence with a supplemental weekly publication.

People still want to be able to hold their news in some sort of tangible form that doesn’t involve constantly being in front of the computer.

This is something Stewart didn’t account for in his satirical piece, which is understandable because he was going for the laughs.

I did think the bit was funny. I laughed quite a bit actually, but I have faith in the work we journalists do. And that faith tells me this isn’t the end of the newspaper. It is merely an immense time of change.

I’m not buying into the doom-and-gloom mentality, and I urge others to resist such thoughts as well.

Journalism and newspapers are an important part of our society. It is going to take more than a downturn in the business to kill the industry.

This is an exciting time to be in journalism, and if everyone would realize that and focus on the positive changes coming instead of wringing their hands in despair over the changes, the entire industry would be much better off.

Large, daily newspapers are the one’s truly hurting, but local, weekly newspapers are still doing OK.

Hillsboro (Kan.) Free Press Publisher Joel Klaassen said his free, weekly newspaper had one of the best Octobers ever this year.

Doesn’t sound like a dying industry to me at all.


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