Could apply to any newspaper

Unspun recently wrote about how The Jakarta Post is trying to cope with change and technology by revamping its website and trying to incorporate interactive features like RSS and comments — although it could have gone further.The Post is apparently in good company – no less than The New York Times — when it comes to Luddite journalists and board directors, if you believe Marc Andreessen, the founder of Netscape among other accomplishments.

Is  Andreessen too gloomy or are the days of the traditional newspaper numbered? Can dailies printed on paper survive the next few years if they do not have an interactive strategy to back them up?

Andreessen may be gloomy but Unspun thinks he has a point. That’s why Unspun began blogging and dabbling in new media: in a world where traditional media is of little importance, there is no need for PR persons of the traditional mold.

clipped from

Marc Andreessen’s newspaper deathwatch

What’s the tech pioneer been doing since Netscape? Investing in social networks and waiting for the New York Times to die.

“I can’t take it anymore,” he wrote on his blog ( “I hereby inaugurate my New York Times Deathwatch, which will continue until the last Sulzberger has left the building.” The piece goes on to rip apart the Times’ business strategy top to bottom, attacking everything from the techno-illiteracy of its board of directors (which boasts experts in marsupials and snack cakes but almost no expertise in the Internet) to its recent per-copy price hike. “When you have an obsolete, inconvenient physical product that nobody wants in an era of universal online access, the appropriate strategy is clearly to raise the price,” he snarked. (He’s not the only one gunning for the Times. A coalition of hedge funds just bought up 10% of the company and wants to install four of its own candidates on the board.)
  blog it

2 thoughts on “Could apply to any newspaper

  1. Doom and problems.

    Yet somehow I think Obama might be helped better by the support of the NYT, compared to coming to his assistance (or on his bandwagon).

    Ron Paul didn’t make it either, despite his popularity in the blogosphere.

    The end of newspapers has been predicted when television came on the scene. That did not happen – some accomodation did take place however. Now there’s one more medium, but I guess newspapers will hang on.

    No, I think I will die before the NYT. Or Le Monde, The Guardian, Frankfurter Algemeine or my own NRC.


  2. Unspun,

    The JP’s got a longer lease of life than the NYT and papers in the States, though less than papers like Pos Kota. It’s about internet penetration.

    One thing pundits (not you) are missing is that people are still reading newspapers, or rather their websites. It’s the classified advertising that’s killing the flagships of the print empires. The rivers of gold are running dry.

    In developing countries, less internet, ergo, more of a need for paper. I’d be interested to know what percentage of the JP’s readership has broadband. Maybe high.


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