As a digital marketer, I rail on the demise of newspapers often. The trend of that this legacy medium is on its way to extinction is clear.
But newspapers do serve a purpose.
They (obviously) disseminate the news. They also defend against overambitious governments. And all governments, especially ours, are overambitious.
We actually need newspapers for democracy to work the way our Founders intended.
But people aren’t buying. Advertisers aren’t buying.
Newspapers have lost 81% of their ad revenue in the past 20 years, and subscribers are dropping like rocks.
How can they survive to continue to fulfill their mission?
Government funding? No, that cannot be the answer.
That would defeat their democratic purpose. Newspapers cannot answer to the government which they are to monitor and report against. That will never work.
One interesting idea to my rants online about this came in the form of a response to a tweet of mine.
The suggestion was that newspapers should become nonprofits.
Now, think about that…
They are already purpose driven organizations, so they fit the nonprofit model.
Your contribution would get you a subscription and be tax deductible.
I suspect many more people would rally behind their purpose and prop up the paper, similar to their contributions to other nonprofits and charities.
What do you think??
Could newspapers survive as nonprofits?