Media people: Newspapers could not have avoided getting pulverized by Internet

The Wrap

John Huey, formerly editor-in-chief of Time Inc., Martin Nisenholtz, The New York Times' former digital honcho, and Paul Sagan, the former CEO of Akamai Technologies, interviewed about 60 media types "about the digital disruption that has decimated newspapers across the country," Sharon Waxman writes.

Said Huey: “The idea that the metro dailies didn’t see it coming is way wrong. There’s no evidence that if they kept moving there would have been a different outcome.”

Said Sagan: “The disruption was fundamental. Knight Ridder saw it earliest, experimented the most, worked the hardest – and it doesn’t exist anymore. Their top budget (for innovation) was $1 million – which doesn’t amount to the sushi budget in Google’s cafeteria.”

"This is a pretty significant conclusion," says Waxman, who notes that "the conventional wisdom in print journalism circles has been that newspapers were far too slow to react to the threat presented by the Internet."

Related: Why a mega-newspaper won't work in a region without a strong identity (Suffolk News-Herald)

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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