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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Editorial: What happens when a newspaper stops printing?

<st Friday, the Rocky Mountain Daily News published its final edition. For nearly 150 years, the newspaper had served the city of Denver and the state of Colorado, but due to the difficult economic landscape for newspapers, it was no longer financially feasible for the Daily News to continue printing. The Daily News had been put up for sale a week earlier, but with no buyers coming forward, the ownership of the paper decided it was not worth while to keep going.

The closure of the Daily News is a sobering reminder that the world of newspapers and of print journalism is not an optimistic one. If no buyer was able to come forward to save the Daily News, an established and respected publication, then what guarantee is there that other newspapers that have already filed for bankruptcy protection – including such newspapers as the Chicago Tribune, Minneapolis Star Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times, among many others – can be saved from the same fate?

A number of columns and editorials written for the Final Edition of the Daily News described what it is like when a newspaper dies; the world does not stop, and the news does not stop happening. The world keeps spinning, and news keeps happening, just as it did yesterday, or just as it has for the past hundred and fifty years, but the only differences it that there is no longer a newspaper there to report it. The news keeps happening even if there is no reporter or no journalist there to report it.

Why, ultimately, did the Daily News fail? Why are there so many other newspapers across America failing? The most common answer is no surprise at all – most analysts point to the internet as the culprit behind the decline of print journalism. The common dilemma newspapers faced when publishers decided to take the news online was, how could they get people to still buy the print edition when the news could be read online for free? Unfortunately, nobody has ever come up with an answer to that question. Especially in an economy when people are cutting costs such as $.50 for a daily newspaper when that news can be found online without cost.

This is an unsettling reality, especially with The Carletonian recently following in those footsteps and taking the news of the Carleton community online. But it is reality, and it is one that will continue to face changes and uncertainty into the future. No longer is it possible for more than one daily newspaper to survive in a large American city – that was shown with the case of Denver. Those days are past.

Will a time come in the future when newspapers simply cease to exist? Several years ago, the answer might have been no. But, that the day has come when a newspaper stops printing and stops reporting after 149 years of doing so, there is no reason to believe anymore that newspapers can succeed, or that more newspapers will not meet the same fate as the Daily News. -The editorial represents the views of The Carletonian Editor.

-The editorial represents the views of The Carletonian Editor

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