If Newspapers Are Dying, What Does The Future Hold For Local News?
If you scratch your head when someone mentions the general demise of print media over last few years, you live in a bubble (someone had to tell you). In an era where smart phones and iPads provide the public access to a virtually unlimited and ever-expanding mass of fresh content, Newspaper businesses (particularly local newspapers) simply cannot compete.
It’s not just the lack of fresh content that’s holding local newspapers back. It’s their lack of connection to the public at large. While they print stories about people in the community, they don’t encourage reader involvement. How does one reply back to an article, for example, that they feel completely misrepresents a story? Answer: They don’t! Thanks to the birth of social media, however, newspapers’ long used “gate keeper approach” to information has given way to a more interactive two-way dissemination of news.
That is precisely why new DC start up, TBD.com, represents the future of popular media. From the design and usability perspective, the website is intuitive, current and most importantly – tasteful. Its best attribute (in my humble opinion) is the noticeable lack of clutter (which is too often associated with the local news channels and newspapers). Additionally, TBD.com’s ability to effectively aggregate local blogs and major newspaper stories, coupled with its trim and socially active staff dedicated to providing the most comprehensive story possible, are sure to make the site a go-to destination for…just about everything!
Now don’t get me wrong, even self-described news junkies like me enjoy a Sunday morning coffee and tightly packed New York Times. But my motive is to get away from the computer/phone/TV and enjoy a quiet morning single tasking. I read the newspaper to relax more than to get latest news. So will we waive goodbye to print media any time soon? The jury’s still out. But over the past few weeks, as I watched TBD appear again and again in the local online buzz, I came to the following conclusion: If newspapers ever do cease to exist, TBD will certainly do the trick for me!