The glorious death of American legacy media, and what comes next

Were it not for an active effort by Facebook and Twitter to prop up legacy corporate media at the expense of independent publishers, you would have probably already seen some of these media companies go bankrupt. The newspapers are all but dead as it is, with massive newsroom layoffs and other clear signs of trouble (like running stories paid for by third parties or even begging for donations) visible to anyone paying attention.

They’ll tell you it’s just the changing media market. Well, yeah — it’s changing, all right, and for a damn good reason. It’s changing because nobody believes you anymore.

If people thought the local paper wasn’t full of it then they’d support that paper by buying digital subscriptions or even holding onto their print subscriptions regardless of whether or not they read the paper copy anymore. Newsprint does have uses even if you read the paper online, you know; it’s great for lining a table if you’re eating boiled seafood, it’s quite helpful as kindling to start the charcoal on your barbeque grill … there are lots of uses for it.

And of course, it you’ve canceled your print subscription to the paper you likely can still avail yourself of those uses, because lots of newspapers keep right on delivering that paper even if you’ve quit paying them.