If newspapers are going to beat the odds and continue to exist they must keep evolving. Some have learned their lesson as evidenced by even small town papers having decent websites. They cannot stand still though as the internet is not static. If they try to keep their online edition of the paper the same for years they will keep losing their backsides. They need to keep up with the online space by melding into it. The success of prominent bloggers is partially due to old media, without which bloggers don’t have much to talk about. That will change as well because old media & new media will take parts of each other’s qualities in order to profit. Some online sites have their own insiders to get news tips so they don’t need to read mainstream newspapers or watch the talking heads on TV to get their information.
Podcasts, blogs, & online video are essential to newspapers surviving. If smaller papers don’t have the people or ability to do video or podcasts they better hire the people who can provide help. If not they are still just something to read. If you haven’t noticed there are a ton of people who simply hate reading, which is terrible, but nonetheless, a fact. Many folks would rather just watch a video or listen to a podcast with the same info as what they would have to read. Our small town paper is moving in the right direction but still has no video or podcasts. They have added rss feeds & the ability to comment on some articles which should have been done a long time ago. All they needed to do was hire the right person to point them in the right direction. But when you get set in your ways it is hard to turn around the ship. Another local news website is using more media formats and even had video available from the local presidential rallies in town. I don’t think they even have a print edition as they tend to have a relationship with the local radio station and may even be owned by the same company. It will be interesting to see which one flourishes especially with the slowdown in the economy.