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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Will people pay to get their newspaper online?


“I think it’s a very short term strategy and it will die with its readers.”

Jeff Jarvis, CUNY journalism professor

Jarvis appeared today with former newspaper editor Alan Mutter on NPR’s Radio Times, a one-hour discussion program produced by WHYY in Philadelphia.

It’s a fascinating and yes, quite grim discussion about the current status and its future. Here are, and I’m paraphrasing, some of the comments made by Jarvis and Mutter:

Hoping consumers will pay for online news and expecting it to work is a pretty tough call after the product has been free for years.

Despite the fact that the Internet and web browsers aren’t new, newspapers continue to struggle trying to adapt.

The change is too great, the cost is too great and the pain is too great. The future of news is more entrepreneurial as opposed to institutional. Newspapers are too high-bound by an old cost structure of doing things the old way.

The newspaper industry got too fat and too happy for too long in a monopoly-type scenario.

They don’t know how to innovate.

Newspaper revenues have just collapsed, losing almost half of their total revenue since 2005. That’s a major crisis that takes their eye off the ball of doing anything innovative. They are not capable of thinking differently because they’re in a state of abject panic.

Reality is harsh. One editor of a highly respected paper told one of the guests she thought it would be best if the institutions just died so they could be replaced and get on with doing journalism again.

This edition of Radio Times is very enlightening.

And by the way, that idea of charging to see news online has been a disaster in one example.

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