Disruptions Telegraph brought are no different from Internet – Publishers just need to find their relevance

Thanks to my friend Colin Crawford’s (@ccoc) RT of @ramblingman, I caught up on this article about disruptions Telegraph has brought to Newspaper industry in 1845 and how the newspaper industry built their relevance in the changing communication landscape of Telegraph in mid 19th century.

If I were to build analogous comparisons between both innovations – Telegraph and Internet – and their impact on Newspaper industry, this is how it would look.

Unlike the Economist editor, I think the News paper industry will also survive along with news business – just in a brand new form with new rules. I talked about the threat of substitutes in my previous blog. I think that threat can be turned into opportunity for news publishers.

Internet vs Telegraph Analysis

I think the biggest threat to the news paper industry can be turned into their partners and promoters – in the world of Twitter, Search and Internet in general.

PS: Opinions expressed are my own.

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  • Mitchell

    A good analysis. Don’t miss the article about Japan’s newspapers at The Economist:


    I hope to find time to read more of your thoughts.

    So how much is a word written by a Citizen Journalist worth? A penny, a nickel, a dime, a dollar? A 500 word article that might take several hours to research and write would only be worth $50 at a dime a word. You’d have to produce 10 per day to make a decent living after taxes. How much should I be paid if I go to a three hour council meeting and report on it? Will my fellow citizens (in a small town with only a few thousand adult residents) pay a publisher enough for the information so that they can pay me? Would they pay me directly to read the article?

    I am just barely getting to the point where I really want to pay bloggers, podcasters and similar “Citizen Journalists” for the information they produce. But donating a $1 to their site doesn’t seem like enough since processing costs and taxes would make it more like a quarter (I like to tip well.) but $5 or $10 a site per month would bankrupt me.

    How much does it really cost to maintain a site with enough quality to keep me coming back and paying? $100 a month, a $1,000?

    The table above is great, but I spotted at least one typo (you forgot the apostrophe in todays). While I don’t demand 100% accuracy, I do expect a lot. I was reading something yesterday and, while I was able to figure out what they were trying to communicate, what was written was actually the opposite of what they meant because they missed a couple of letters. I won’t pay if I have to figure it out.

    The entire Dec/Jan issue of The Economist was thought provoking, but I’m thinking of starting a blog entitled “The Economist – Stuck on stupid” because no matter how many examples of the free market working they present in an article by the end of the article they offer government as the solution to the problem presented. Government is never the answer IMHO. That’s why I use extra airline miles to pay for my subscription and not my hard earned valuable cash. Maybe we could pay Citizen Journalists by using rewards points and barter.

    Keep up the good work.