Campos Column a Casualty of Latest Newspaper Demise

meowser-48.jpg posted by meowser

Today the Rocky Mountain News, which had been in print since 1859, published its final edition, yet another in a series of newspaper deaths which figure to be continuing into the foreseeable future.

With the Rocky’s demise also comes the concurrent demise of Paul Campos’s column, which the Rocky had been publishing for a decade. Campos didn’t dedicate a lot of columns to fat acceptance, but the fact that he wrote any, and thus was one of our highest-profile media advocates, meant a lot.

Campos describes the loss of the column as a “minor economic inconvenience” for him (he’s a law professor). But this is something we’re going to see more and more of; with the rise of blogs, the number of high-profile paying outlets for opinion and “think piece” writers is going to continue to shrink as print publications die off and those that survive slash their budgets and rely more and more on wire stories and rewritten press releases for their news content.

His archive can be found here, for the time being. Scripps is looking for a buyer to take over the Rocky’s Web site and archives; let’s hope they find one.

In the meantime, get your Campos while you can. And of course, he’ll still be blogging at Lawyers, Guns and Money.

I have nothing remotely clever to say about this.

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5 Responses to “Campos Column a Casualty of Latest Newspaper Demise”

  1. Lindsay C. Says:

    Yeah, printed media is taking a serious hit in this economy. Most newspapers are trying desperately to move into the digital market, and the problems there are numerous – how to get enough advertising on the site without scaring off the e-readers, how to keep loyal hard-copy customers without losing too much money on creation/distribution. Then they also have to compete with sites like Google News, CNN, MSNBC, etc. It’s nuts.

  2. PurpleGirl Says:

    I thought my dad was screwing with me last night when he said the Rocky was going under. I was never really a fan–preferred the Denver Post when I bothered to read a paper–but it’s sad to see something that’s been around for so long go down like that.

  3. Rachel Says:

    This is exactly what I was warning about here.

    I think most newspapers have already moved into the digital age. The problem is that online advertising doesn’t pay as well as print advertising. Various newspapers, including the NY Times, have experimented with online subscriptions, but they’ve failed miserably. There’s an expectation that if it’s online, it should be free.

  4. Lindsay Says:

    I like to think that if enough people were buying newspapers, i wouldn’t be getting laid off in two months… but no one’s got money to spare these days. 😛

  5. meowser Says:

    Yeah, I think a lot of that is because a decade ago, it was looking as if online ad revenue was going to approach what they were used to getting for print revenue. Now that online advertisers have figured out that online ads aren’t very remunerative, that revenue has dried up. At least it has for daily papers.

    And people are used to free, ad-supported content by now, so unless they all start charging for online subscriptions simultaneously, none of them will. Other than the Wall Street Journal, which is a “prestige” item you’re expected to be up on in order to get ahead in certain corporate environments. (And a lot of daily papers get big chunks of content from wire and syndication services, too, so unless the wire and syndication services start charging for subscriptions or page views, too, they’re going to be screwed if they go to a paid subscription model.)

    It makes me wonder if daily papers might go to an altweekly type of model instead. I remember when I lived in New York a couple of decades ago, the Village Voice was something you had to buy on the newsstand or subscribe to; it wasn’t free. Now they’re a freebie paper, too. Although New York is a bit different when it comes to newspapers, thanks to all the subway and commuter trains that run underground; since it’s hard to get online access in those places just yet, there’s still plenty of newsgrime on commuters’ fingers.

    But hell, I wouldn’t mind if the papers wanted to do pledge drives and stuff, like public TV and radio. If I really like a publication and read it a lot, and they do original reporting, I don’t mind donating so they can keep doing that.


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