AP Analyzes Future of Print Media Revenue

I check my e-mail accounts, news feeds, and blog rolls every morning/afternoon.

Press co-workers often e-mail AP stories to the rest of the newsroom, especially the wire editor as she sorts through looking for national news for briefs or wire pages.

Today she sent an analysis about the future of print media revenue, specifically recapping a forum held at the National Press Club to discuss the business model print outlets have used in the past.

The problem, the industry leaders said, is not the decline in readership. It's the revenue shift (as the economy tanks, businesses cut advertising first) and the readership styles that are changing.

We're not "news consumers" like we were in the past. We're "news users," according to Alberto Ibarguen, the president and CEO of Knight Foundation, who was present at the forum.

His best quote by far?

"We should think about news as a utility," he said. "You pay the light bill, you pay the cable bill. Maybe you pay a news bill. I don't know. But we ought to have all of these things on the table and stop trying to figure out, 'How do we get back to 1970?'"

It's not about returning to the way things used to be. It's about stepping forward to provide MY generation, YOUR generation, with the news in the way we want to digest it.

The million dollar question, though, is can we still dish that news with the same depth and integrity it had in the 1970s, if MY generation is the generation who expects it for free?

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