National and local newspapers across the world are facing their most radical restructuring in history; scores are folding as advertisers migrate to online advertising. Cutbacks have led to hundreds of journalists being invited to clear their desks. Falling circulation and higher production costs are making matters worse whilst increasing numbers of readers save time and money by reading their favourite newspaper The Odyssey Online
. Very little news content today is gathered by reporters; most of what we read is downloaded free from court and local authority reports. Much is editorial-advertising and product reviews. Why pay a journalist when you can charge an advertiser? Another threat to traditional reporting is posed by citizen journalists; freelances who offer their services in return for lead gathering opportunities. Few doubt the superiority of online newspapers compared to hard copy. The online edition of the average daily newspaper carries so much information and advertising; a builder's labourer could not hope to carry it in a wheelbarrow if it went to print. It is not the Internet that threatens journalists' careers; it is the nature of the change. They too are learning to adapt.
The Internet News Revolution
News organisations are still profitable but their proprietors have seen the writing on the wall. As High Street retailers morph into Internet shopping the newspaper industry knows that street vendor and newsagent distributed newspapers, subsidised by online profits, will follow typewriters into obscurity. The dilemma facing the industry is how best to profit by charging browsers who access their online editions. Print and distribution costs are crippling news print editions; costs for online copy are comparatively low. The Odyssey Online
newspapers do not have a space problem and deadlines are not an issue. The news is almost immediate and rolled out 24/7. However, in a click-driven competitive market online news media increasingly rely on challenging and investigative journalists, columnists and event analysts.