Far be it from me to say it, but over at AdAge, that's the word....
Print Journalism Officially in a Crisis, Or, Put Your Hand in the Hand of Your Strongest Competitor?
Maybe just to make it all official, a recent study was conducted on the effects that recent layoffs and budgets cuts are having on the country's newsrooms (spoiler alert: it's bad). The study concluded that newsrooms are smaller despite a greater online need for content, there is less foreign news now than there was three years ago (Lara Logan fans will already be aware of this), and there is even less national news (though as New Yorkers one wonders how long it would take for us to notice this). The good news? Well, there isn't much except that smaller papers seem to be doing better than larger ones.
Meanwhile, over at AdAge Arthur "Punch" Sulzberger Jr. is talking to Nat Ives about how the New York Times is navigating these treacherous waters. In a word, co-operation. Starting this fall the Times plans on "automatically displaying links to competitors' takes on big news" on its home page, no less (how very HuffPo) as well as expanding its online business coverage a la Andrew Sorkin's DealBook model: "each one will include original reporting and commentary from a dedicated staffer, news aggregated from elsewhere, relevant tools, e-mail newsletters, mobile applications and more." And while Sulzberger has been the recipient of much criticism of late, particularly after NYT stocks fell to a record ten-year low last week, he has garnered some praise for keeping the Times in the family, "The fecklessness of the Bancrofts reflected that Arthur had sharp values...He may not be a business visionary, but he is stalwart in a way that they were not."
Just a note on this: the solution doesn't lie in aggregating other people's content, it lies in aggregating your own. Not that anyone really gets this. It's called STORY.