Conservative columnist Debra Saunders revealed today that the SF Chronicle is offering buyouts to another 125 workers. No word on how that affects the newsroom, but it's the latest evidence that the decline of print media has not hit bottom yet.
Debra goes through all the reasons why people think the decline ain't all that bad for society because there is so much information and news available for free on the web, but she also points out something that I've been preaching for a while, i.e. that the valuable, objective content on the web actually comes from print media.
The largest source of information retrieved on the 'net still comes from the New York Times, according to all the sites that cover that kind of stuff. In fact the top sites on the net all belong to print media. So if print goes away, and it is, all you have left for news are press releases.
That's why we started New Tech Press; a way to create real news content without being dependent on advertising. Based on what we are hearing, the model of New Tech Press is starting to take hold. More and more online sites are charging for placing content on information websites. I've even heard that the price for just getting an interview with some publications is now around $1000 while $3000-$5,000 is the price for getting a "white paper" published.
News just doesn't "happen" to appear on your screens. Someone has to pay for the infrastructure and personnel to get it there. If you don't buy advertising, your going to pay for it some other way.