The big news of the day is the news media itself.  Torstar and Postmedia have agreed to a non monetary swap of some 40 newspapers of which all but about five will be shutdown.  What does this mean for our immediate area?  The Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin and the Meaford Express will no longer cease to exist, driving by the Enterprise Bulletin today reflects that the door is already locked.
  For many, this comes as no surprise.  Declining advertising revenues stemming from more and more consumers both searching for and buying products and services online has taken a heavy toll on newspapers overall income.  I remember years ago the Toronto Star having a whole classified section just for cars.  Those ads quickly disappeared as the result of the Auto Trader publication and later  The same scenario has unfolded several times since affecting virtually every type of business I can think of.
  Back in August of 2012 I did a post titled Print Versus Online Advertising. I had attended a real estate conference and sat in on a session pertaining to advertising.  In 2010, online advertising expenditures across the U.S exceeded print advertising.  While this statistic was based on the U.S., Canada would be no different.  Canada has always been one of the global leaders in the adoption of Internet services so to think that print advertising was not already under severe threat in this country is foolish. 
  Real estate has remained one of the last strongholds for print advertising expenditures.  Home sellers are often impressed to see their property advertised in one of the local papers or in one of the many area magazines but the reality is, obtaining a buyer through a print ad is very very rare.  I cannot think of when I last had a call or email inquiry from a print property ad. No matter how nice or how many photos an add may contain, sites like allow for up to 30 photos plus virtual tours.  A postage stamp sized photo(s) with a bit of text in a print ad pales in comparison to how a property can effectively be marketed online and with a global reach versus just a local one.
  Whats broken in the newspaper industry is not the lack of news or the number of potential readers, its the advertising revenue model.  The print news industry needs to figure out how to better attract and monetize online advertising.  Websites such as Facebook and Kijiji offer free advertising but get revenue by selling upgraded ad options on their sites.  In the wake of declining ad revenues newspapers have been forced to increase the cost pf their papers. A couple of weeks ago I picked up a the weekend edition of the Globe and Mail with my groceries, little did I realize it was $6.00.  Never again will I buy a weekend paper.
  While its too bad to see an institution like the Enterprise Bulletin fold, the reality is papers such as these cannot financially sustain themselves by selling printed ad space, technology is a powerful foe and failing to adopt to an ever changing landscape driven by technology no matter what business you are in is a fool’s game. 
  What is unnerving is the potential lack of local content in the news that will be available to us covering such things a municipal and community affairs.  Time will tell if the one remaining print newspaper, the Connection will survive in print or will it too face the same fate as these other publications?