With newspapers going out of print, moving onto the web, struggling to find a viable business model and not displaying a whole lot of talent in having one materialize, times are indeed bleak for the newspaper business. Who knows, any day now, newspapers may have to resort to actually figuring out what their readership wants. The horror.
I suspect that newspapers is one of those businesses that need to be reinvented and that it needs to happen from the outside. One of those businesses where decades of experience in the industry ends up being a handicap because it has eroded, and eventually oblitterated, any urge to ask really fundamental questions about what the product should really be about if you were to invent it today. These things happen from time to time. When people get rich, fat and lazy doing the same thing for decades. Then the basic premises change and they go extinct.
Tell you what I want.
I never want to see any story ever again about football, celebrity gossip or reality TV shows. I'd be willing to pay a modest fee per year for newspapers to shield me from this sort of inane rubbish. This is really low-hanging fruit. If you don't know how to deliver this then you ought not to be in the newspaper business.
Oh, and while you are at it: would it kill you to make newspapers, if not visually pleasing, then at least not reminiscent of the glucose-fueled scrawlings of a five-year old with a box full of crayons?
I'll put my 20 dollar bill here. It'll be there when you decide to give me what I want. Okay?