Posted by: jgurner | January 19, 2011

The Demise of the Newspaper – Unintended Consequences

If you’re still in the newspaper industry today and you take a long, hard look around, things don’t necessarily look good.

The hard economic times of the past few years have taken their toll. They come on top of the fact that the industry as a whole has been slow to adapt to changing technology, changing readership and changing business models. In many ways newspapers have become dinosaurs, but the industry itself played its own role in keeping the humble newspaper an evolutionary throwback.

Unfortunately, as the newspaper industry declines, it brings about a myriad of unintended consequences stretching from economic, to social to political. These have been addressed ad nauseam, but there is one consequence I have yet to see addressed.

If the newspaper industry folds, where will superheroes work?

Think about it. No newspapers – no place of employment for mild mannered reporters.

Sure, there will still be news gathering organizations around, but I doubt an Internet-based, multimedia news gathering organization has a place for anyone who is “mild mannered.” And what about jobs for young, freelance photographers? Internet-based multimedia news gathering organizations aren’t going to be interested in random pictures of Spiderman. They’re going to want pictures of drunk celebrities out of control at nightclubs or hot, young models climbing in and out of cars wearing no underwear.

Plus, with increasing competition to be the first one to report any given news item, superheroes wouldn’t have time to change out of their reporter garb, into their costumes, fight the villians and save the day, fly (or swing) off into the sunset, sneak back, change back into their reporter clothing and then file the story or develop the film (or download the digital images). TMZ would have beat them to the punch by miles.

But, I see the writing on the wall. Already, it’s rumored that the new Spiderman reboot will be without hard-boiled Daily Bugle J.J. Jameson. Maybe they’re focusing on Peter Parker’s life before he started working for the Bugle, but, it’s not hard to imagine that eventually, Parker’s career as a newspaper photographer may be the victim of the demise of the newspaper industry and Jameson is just another unemployed, chain smoking alcoholic railing against corporate American and trying to impress young journalists with antics of an era they’ll never be able to relate to.

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Responses

  1. […] If you're still in the newspaper industry today and you take a long, hard look around, things don't necessarily look good. The hard economic times of the past few years have taken their toll. They come on top of the fact that the industry as a whole has been slow to adapt to changing technology, changing readership and changing business models. In many ways newspapers have become dinosaurs, but the industry itself played its own role in keeping t … Read More […]


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