There is a lot of talk about advertising revenues that have almost disappeared for printed newspapers as if it was the only element that triggered the current crisis.
We must go back to 1920 to notice the beginning of the decline of the newspapers. In 1920, radio was coming in and it was taking away market share for both news and newspaper advertising.
In 1950, the arrival of the television gave another blow to the newspapers.
Then, the coup de grace arrived in 1990 with the arrival of the internet and a paradigm shift that we have not talked about lately so much it's part of us now.
The classified ads were really the cash cow of the newspapers and, thanks to this income, they were able to offer exceptional conditions to the journalists as well as a miraculous income to the shareholders.
Prior to the arrival of Craigslist, average newspaper profit margins were 30%. In 1995, Craigslist makes its appearance and eats most of the cash cow.
But again, Craigslist was born from newspaper greed for classified ads. They charged so much that they opened the door to a new competitor. Today, no one would think of contacting a newspaper to sell his kitchen table. No, there are Kijiji, PAC and others.
The answer of François Legault to remedy this decline of 100 years? "Subscribe to the newspapers! "
It will not be enough. Most newspapers have a history that is too heavy for the trend to be reversed. Think only of pension funds for retired employees that must be borne.
Journalism will not disappear, but you do not have to be a diviner to see that newsprint was the worst way to convey news, yet this industry survived as long as there was no better alternative. Radio was a better alternative, television was a better alternative and the web even better.
If we decide to keep the newspapers alive, we will have to pay millions of dollars annually and continually refuse progress. Nature hates emptiness and it is not because a paper diary disappears that information disappears with it. On the contrary, a new way of becoming informed will appear, as it is the case for more than 100 years.