There’s always more and more bad news about the news, which is the theme of a new Brookings Institute essay by Robert Kaiser.
“The Bad News About the News” is available here, but brace yourself. It’s a long, well researched look at the decline of newspapers. The juiciest bits come from a memo Kaiser wrote to his bosses in 1992, which you can read here. Some highlights:
Design the electronic classifieds now. Figure out how to capture and organize the digital computer information that we already create for each day’s classifieds into a user-friendly data bank. Explore software alternatives. Figure out how this could be launched. Make sure all would-be competitors know what we’re doing. But reserve the right to postpone implementation until a moment when we’re confident we’ll make more money (or deter a competitor) by launching the electronic product.As part of the same effort, explore the feasibility of a Post electronic Yellow Pages for the Washington Area. Why not seek to become the dominant provider of electronic advertising and information in our region?
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