Agoracom Blog

Newspapers Are Not Dying Because Of Technology. They Shot Themselves In The Head

Posted by AGORACOM at 7:15 PM on Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Canada Newspapers


It still amazes me that Canada’s newspapers didn’t figure out a long time ago that content could have saved them. Reporting on another car bombing in Iraq, ferry boat disaster in the Philippines and tensions between Israel and Palestine was just a stupid path to continue down. Flat out stupid.

They needed to turn into massive “local” papers that provided readers with helpful, useful, actionable information. Not just bad news pertaining to car accidents and city hall drama. REAL. ACTIONABLE. INFORMATION.

Divide the Toronto version into Toronto, Scarborough, Mississauga, York Region, etc. and report on things helpful to subscribers. How are the schools performing? How are the bridges holding up? What matters are up for debate in city hall? Where is new construction taking place? What is a fair property tax increase to make sure services are delivered properly? Who is throwing away your money? Rank the local soccer clubs. Which city is growing, which one is dying.  Where are the opportunities?

Do a deep dive into all of these things.  Don’t just report.  DIVE.  I don’t give a shit about two tribes in Afghanistan.  Tell me everything I need to know about living a better life in my region.

Cut out anything generic that your subscribers could have found on the web. Don’t waste a paragraph summarizing the Dallas Cowboys / Miami Dolphins game yesterday. Other people do that way better than you.  Just give me the scores.  Do tell me about what is going on in the home team dressing rooms and which young GTA athletes are looking like professional prospects.

Do the same thing in every city across Canada.

The result should have been a smaller but far more dense newspaper that was invaluable to its readers. Give Joe Subscriber a reason to keep giving you $600 / year …. because he sure ain’t giving it to you to read about two tribes scrapping it out in Afghanistan.

Canadian newspapers aren’t dying because of technology. They’re dying because they forgot to deliver the news that matters to their subscribers.

And Now You Die.

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