Monday, March 31, 2008

Another of Jakob Nielsen's Prediction Coming True!: The Death Of Newspapers!

In Jakob Nielsen's latest eNewsletter, Alertbox, he follows up on a prediction he made in 1998: Newspapers will be dead in 5-10 years. He included other legacy media formats in his dire forecast such as magazines, books and TV Networks which are still alive and kicking, but his follow-up today focused on the demise of Newspapers.

As it's often the case, I was too aggressive in my prediction. Newspapers aren't dead yet, though they are sadly dying by the month. According to the New Yorker piece, American newspapers have lost 42% of their market value over the last 3 years alone...

...I hate to say this, since I am a big fan of newspapers, but I think that my prediction from 1998 is in the process of coming true, even though it's going to take more years than I originally said. Never confuse a clear view with a short distance, as the saying goes.

After reading Uncle Jacob's update, I noticed a story online about how two major newspaper operators may be on the verge of folding. The Journal Register's stock has gone from $12 to $0.55 in two years and MacClatchy (the third largest newspaper in the nation) is close to $10 from $50 two years ago.

It's interesting to me that he follows up on his predictions. His all too often "too aggressive" assertions are such a part of his persona at this point that he almost has to. I can just imagine the email I will get 10 years from now giving me an update on who else is obviously going out of business.

On a side note, if you do a search on Google for "unlcle jakob" his website comes up number 1. This is despite the term "uncle" not existing on the page. Google bomb?

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