Fabrice Taylor of the ROB argues that there’s value in CanWest’s stable of newspapers, but doesn’t quite get to describing that value, which simply is content. He cites the Economist as a successful model of MSM, but doesn’t quite connect the dots: the Economist focuses on sharp analysis, covering stories other media don’t cover, and stick the knitting: good writing, good editing and good reporting, all in print form. Do we really need daily newspapers to tell us what the web/blogosphere is telling us about Tiger Woods, or do we need the kind of thoughtful critique Greg Stoba brings in the National Post, arguing Woods is absolutely right to protect his privacy above all else (in counter to a story it did yesterday arguing the opposite, thus giving the reader two clear, opposing takes on a situation in the news, but with thoaght and argument, not salaciousness. People will pay for that kind of content and that’s the economic model for newspapers: print beyond gossip and provide a take that you can’t get elsewhere.
Globe and Mail, Dec. 2 2009