Well, by God, a smattering of good news for a change:
Circulation revenue for daily newspapers grew in 2012 for the first time in a decade as more people paid to subscribe to digital editions, according to data compiled by the Newspaper Assn. of America.
The finding is noteworthy because it demonstrates that the newspaper industry, which has been hammered in recent years as consumers and advertisers migrated to the Internet, has begun to adapt its business model to a new era.
Newspapers generated $10.4 billion in circulation revenue in 2012, a 5% increase over the previous year. It was the first gain since 2003, as more consumers read newspaper content on desktops, tablets and cellphones.
I know I've said this more than once here, but the dumnbest thing newspapers ever did was put their print editions online for free. Why will people pay good money to get something in on a 24-hour schedule after they've seen the same thing online much earlier for free? We should have started off the bat with pay walls or at least with digital content that was different from dead-tree content. I'm not sure we can ever catch up from that mistake.
The smartest thing some of us did (The News-Sentinel being one) was to be an early adopter of a mobile-phone site. Right now, that looks to be where the future of infomration retrieval is, and that effort might be somewhat easier to monetize than a website.