The collecting of news is not free

Newspapers across North America are grappling with a decline in revenue and all major daily newspapers are suffering from a decline in the number of readers they reach. It is a troubling problem in the industry.
At the same time, studies are showing that more North American people are following news than ever before. They are choosing to use the web to gather their facts.
The issue for newspapers and magazines is how to keep those readers reading hard copy editions or get them to pay to read their information online.
Today, the New York Times has over a half-million paid subscribers paying about $5 per week to read the paper.
The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, is still working to reach 100,000 paid subscribers.
The loss in advertising revenue is not being recovered with online advertising with those papers or with paid subscribers.
Newspapers have chosen to reduce costs by eliminating jobs and streamlining management. Senior management positions have been reduced from communities.
We have watched as newspaper chains including Quebecor, Toronto Star, Postmedia Network Canada Corp, McClatchy Newspapers, Tribune Company, and Scripps have downsized their reporter networks to reduce costs.
Associated Press, Canadian Press and Reuters have reduced their reporting staffs across North America and the world.
Reporting costs are the single biggest cost in journalism. Whether it is television, radio or newspapers, newsgathering is an expensive process.
News is not free. The collecting of news is not free.
In an age when more people than ever are seeking news and following more intensely segments of news, the number of news gatherers is declining. Pages of information in papers and magazines are shrinking. The diversity of opinion and ideas is being reduced.
One might argue that Google, Yahoo, Bing, and the Huffington Post make getting the news through an electronic device easier. But what is often forgotten is that their spider algorithms scan sites through the world and only connect you to what is already published.
They employ few journalists and videographers to write and record news stories.
Small community newspapers across Canada are also struggling.
Many that were published two or three times a week and now only published once per week.
In Ontario in the last year, more than 25 community newspapers have ceased publications.
Those newspapers recorded the lives and history of the communities they served. Most also placed their stories onto the web.
Those communities today have no common voice to share the lives of their people.

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