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Do newspapers have a chance on the web?

Thanks to Greg McHale of Good2gether, I saw this article on the share of Internet users who visit newspaper sites.  A staggering 37% of Internet users visited a newspaper site during Q2 2007.  Although there are many sources of news on the Internet, newspapers are uniquely positioned for the hyper-local content that you can't get anywhere else.

The problem is that the revenue model for newspapers has to change.  The online revenue they are generating doesn't make up for the loss of print subscribers that has been their bread and butter.  Online revenue is growing fast, but not fast enough.

I am a newspaper junkie.  I read the Boston Globe and Wall Street Journal every day.  I also scan articles in the New York Times regularly.  But, my kids don't even think of reading the paper.  They get their news from the Web, to the extent that they pay attention to news at all (other than my son's love of sports!).

Newspapers have to focus where they have unique content -- hyper-local.  Someone on the Web has to provide the local news that only someone local can generate.  This is the natural advantage that local papers have.  It seems like users are looking to them for this content.  Now, they just have to figure out how to make money supplying it.

By the way, Good2gether is going to be taking advantage of this hyper-local content on local newspaper sites.  Stay tuned.

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