Newsrooms throughout the country continue to lay off workers, in hope of saving money and trying to figure out how to reinvent themselves as the Internet takes their advertisers and readers. The Christian Science Monitor is ceasing print publication and will be online only, the New York Times reported today. Time Inc. announced plans to lay off more than 600 people. The layoff news just keeps getting worse.
Despite the slow death of Old Media, as David Carr reports, online sites must still get their news from somewhere since most don't have their own reporting staffs and rely on newspaper stories for content. And as newspapers slowly redefine themselves, Internet news sites such as Spot.us are moving to fill the void by asking readers to pay for journalism that they're unlikely to see elsewhere. Take a look at the site, I have a few story pitches myself that I'd like to work on: why solar power is so expensive for homeowners and why more isn't being done to lower that cost; and a followup to the Cosco Busan oil spill a year ago in the Bay.
My favorite newspaper, the NY Times, wrote about Spot.us and crowdfunding a few months ago. It's a great idea that I hope takes off, and not only so I can collect a paycheck again.
Newspapers will always be around in some form, whether in print or online, and I'd like to see them succeed and go online. People will always want somone to tell them the news, tell them a story, and show them how the news affects their lives. But if they don't, and continue cutting their staffs to the bone and leave coverage holes, then groups such as Spot.us, The Public Press and redwoodage.com will jump in and find a way to make money on the Internet, or at lesat break even. Redwood Age, for example, is an interesting news site because it targets people over 40, an underserved market on the Internet who want their news without all the social networking of Facebook and without having to give up private information about themselves online.