News & Criticism

Can Newspapers Survive?

Only if they work harder to earn and maintain respect

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As media giants totter, battered by the Internet and the economic crisis, saving the newspapers has become a hot topic. It is richly ironic that the Net, which has both greatly facilitated the work of journalists and expanded their readership, has also left many unemployed. There are concerns that the death of journalism as we know it will leave our culture ill-informed—blogs are good for opinion and fact-checking, but they are no substitute for original reporting—and endanger democracy by removing a vital part of its checks and balances.

The debate revolves around two key questions. One, does society truly need the professional media? Two, how can professional journalism survive in a new media environment?

On the first question, my answer is a resounding, though possibly self-serving "yes." While I am a fan of blogs, I believe they work best when the "mainstream media" and the blogs complement each other. Otherwise, the blogosphere is all too liable to disintegrate into shrill partisan screaming and irresponsible rumor-mongering.

The responsible media do have a vital role to play in a democracy. However, the mainstream media's defenders would do well to acknowledge some of their failings. A recent editorial in The New Republic laments that "press-bashing"—whether from right-wing media critics such as former CBS correspondent Bernard Goldberg, or leftists on the Huffington Post site who accuse the media of conformism—has created a "poisonous atmosphere," undermining the authority of the press.

But what if the critiques have merit? Goldberg's anti-media broadsides may be over the top, but his basic argument—that the liberal politics of most journalists influence media coverage, not because journalists don't strive to be objective but because their cultural milieu influences their perceptions of objectivity—has a great deal of truth to it. Few people doubt that Barack Obama got breaks from the press. And there are well-documented instances of media bias leading to sloppy reporting, with journalists all but recycling the press releases of advocacy groups on such issues as domestic violence, homelessness, or the perils of gun ownership. The press has been the target of unfair criticism, but it cannot be absolved of blame for the damage to its reputation.

That said, the media's present financial woes have little to do with its real or perceived lack of balance, and everything to do with the economics of publishing. News corporations have always subsidized serious reporting and commentary with revenues from other functions of the newspapers, such as classified advertising or sports news. Today, most of those functions have been diverted to other media, including the Internet.

Promising solutions include non-profit programs to support investigative reporting and news analysis. Just because we need professional journalism does not mean that it has to come only in the traditional package of the newspaper. Independent journalists, working as individuals or as teams, may thrive if they can have access to resources outside the conventional structure of a media organization.

Far more controversial is the quest to get readers to pay for online content. In fact, there is no good reason that online content should be free, other than "people are used to it." Is it impossible to persuade people to pay for something they are used to getting for free? Not at all. Online music downloads are a good example; so is television. While TV had been free since its inception, large numbers of people proved willing to pay for cable and digital television.

A subscriber-only model for individual websites has repeatedly proven unworkable. (The Wall Street Journal—a notable exception—gets people to pay for financial information while providing most editorial content free of charge.) The main reason it cannot work is that people who read news and commentary on the Internet usually get their content from many different sites. That is the great advantage of the Internet: you can go from The Washington Post to The London Times at the click of a mouse, and follow a link within one story to read another. If every news site started hiding its content behind a pay wall, reader would face either huge bills or greatly restricted choices, and many would seek to circumvent the subscription requirements.

Walter Isaacson, former managing editor of Time, recently got into the fray with a proposal to make web media content available for micropayments similar to iTunes, "a one-click system with a really simple interface." If you see a link to an interesting article on, say, the San Jose Mercury News website, you don't have to buy a $20 subscription to the publication—you can pay a nickel or a dime to read the individual item.

While this is a promising idea, it has substantial drawbacks. Those nickels and dimes can add up, and if your monthly bill is high enough, you may think twice the next time you feel like clicking on a link.

A better approach may be to make news and analysis content available only through media portals or carriers, similar to cable television providers. A subscription to a carrier would give access to any news site (newspaper, magazine, blog) that is a part of its package. The subscription price could be set by level of consumption—$20 a month for 40 hours of media access, $40 for 100 hours, and so on. Or it could vary depending on which publications are included, while content outside the customer's standard package could be available for one-time micropayments. Different media portals could experiment with different fee scales. This would allow people to surf the Web without having to ponder each click of a link. Revenues could be distributed to individual websites depending on their readership.

This strategy would still require a drastic departure from Internet business as usual. The migration of participating sites behind media-portal walls would have to be coordinated. Some policing would be needed to ensure that premium content is not reposted on free-access sites. This could make the carriers look like bad guys, at least in the eyes of those for whom free online content has become an entitlement if not an article of faith.

Yet, if there is a will to adopt the media-portal subscription model, there will be a way. Even in the age of celebrity gossip sites and reality shows, millions of Americans still respect real journalism enough to be willing to pay to help keep it alive.

Provided, of course, that the media work harder to deserve and retain that respect.

Cathy Young is a contributing editor at Reason magazine. This article originally appeared at Real Clear Politics.

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  1. The press has been the target of unfair criticism

    [Citation Needed]

  2. I think it is more likely that certain national papers will get subsidized to continue their current shrilling for whichever party they shrill for, while local dailies will shrink to the size of a school newspaper.

  3. I think that if the traditional media got its act together and stopped its own “shrill partisan screaming” they’d be enjoying readership again. As it is, the traditional media has degenerated into left vs. right and fact checking seems to have gone out the window.

    This is a market pressure for the MSM. Adapt and survive, keep printing partisan hackery and fail.

    Good night, and good luck.

  4. Here’s a business model: scrap the presses, sell the huge building housing the presses, fire the unionized pressmen, and give away a free ebook reader with every newspaper subscription. Would it work?

  5. I think that if the traditional media got its act together and stopped its own “shrill partisan screaming” they’d be enjoying readership again

    I’m not sure of that. Sure, the snotty, condescending left-wing preaching that pervades papers like the NYT and the WP has driven a lot of readers away, but the main factors behind their demise are simple economics: hard copy doesn’t make a lot of sense in the age of the internet, and their de facto monopolies are crumbling.

    -jcr

  6. I don’t think that lack of objectivity is the media’s problem. Unfortunately, quality, accuracy and, in particular, objectivity aren’t valued by enough people to make a difference. In fact, I think that “objectivity” is a net drawback for most people, who generally like to hear only assertions that support their own viewpoints. See, for example, Fox News, MSNBC, etc.

  7. John C. Randolph-It’s not that hard copies don’t make sense, per se, that’s the problem.

    The main problem, when you sort through all the BS, is Craigslist (and Ebay and Monster.com and…). Classified advertising is way, way down. Now, newspaper sales are down as well, but not as dramatically as classified ad revenue. And those ads aren’t disappearing, they are just going to websites that the newspapers don’t control.

    So newspapers have to be more efficient if they want to survive. The most efficient method, I think, would be a national newspaper with local subsidaries. And I don’t mean USA Today. If I had a billion dollars, I would buy out every failing newspaper in the country. Fire everybody but the local reporters.

    That is, most newspapers of any size don’t just use wire reports, but they have national and international reporters of their own, as well as people at places like the state capital. When a sports team plays an away game, their sports reporter goes with the team.

    This national newspaper would do away with that. When the Dodgers play the Mets in New York, instead of the sports reporter from Los Angeles flying to New York to write a story, the local New York guy would file the same story that appeared in the New York version of the paper. When there was news in Sacremento about the California state budget or whatever, it would be somebody from the Sacremento paper that would file the story, not somebody specific from the LA paper. The stories could be slightly rewritten for each market, but it would be basically the same story in each.

    So, you basically would have the USA Today with an in depth local section as well. High quality at low cost.

  8. I hate to agree with Lonewacko about anything, ever, but he has a point when he says that politicians don’t have to answer hard questions.

    President Bush (or someone in his administration) stated recently that in press conferences they avoided “unsafe” reporters. They can only get away with that because of the large troupe of fellatio reporters who uncritically swallow everything they’re given.

  9. The Rocky Mountain News went tits up today. I liked it better than the Denver post.

    For what that’s worth.

  10. I hate to agree with Lonewacko about anything, ever, but he has a point when he says that politicians don’t have to answer hard questions.

    Yeah, but when your mind thinks of “hard questions” it thinks of actual hard questions in your mind. Lonewacko’s mind thinks of inane questions.

  11. And when my mind thinks it has an echo in my mind.

  12. Most professional reporters are overpaid. There are tons & tons of people with the ability and the inclination to perform that job for less money. Blogs prove this.

    People are not willing to pay a hefty premium for a marginal improvement in journalistic quality.

  13. Mike – Yeah, that’s one of the reasons why I hate to agree with him on anything. Even when he’s right, he’s wrong.

    I’d make fun of the “in my mind” thing, but I’m prone to repeat myself when I use repetitive repetition, too.

  14. Mike Laursen:

    “Here’s a business model: scrap the presses, sell the huge building housing the presses, fire the unionized pressmen, and give away a free ebook reader with every newspaper subscription. Would it work?”

    Hearst Planning Electronic Reader Alternative To Kindle: Analysts suggest such a device would help the news publisher find an answer to reverse shrinking subscriber bases, as well as revenue losses from publications.

  15. C’mon Cathy. Pay per truth? Those of us that really work at reading the news, are vastly out numbered by those who just want entertainment.

    I don’t know where this is all headed. But I would accept some sort of “data central”. I would also endorse a prison sentence for anyone, who in any way, posts less than the truth, as they know it.

    I am truly sorry that print journalists are losing jobs, I hate that anyone at all is losing a job. But then, I suspect that a nation able to type truth into a “data central”, might not have to look so far and wide for truth, and the undisclosed.

    I am not endorsing a “data central”. Three of them might be a lot better. As reporters dwindle in numbers, now is the time to decide how they will be replaced. The trend is here, now.

  16. Ponders:

    “I would also endorse a prison sentence for anyone, who in any way, posts less than the truth, as they know it.”

    The truth to be determined by the Ministry of Truth

  17. Ponders, that is an awesome parody of an Obama supporter. Do you have a blog?

  18. cuernimus, I think you have it exactly backwards.

    The major dailies will die. The parties don’t need them to indoctrinate the sheeple, so why would the political parasites give them money to stay alive?

    On the other hand, the one thing the AlGore doesn’t do well is cover local news. You can find a thousand websites discussing the spring lineup of the Yankees, the undergarments of Britney Spears, or President St. Obama’s nomination gaffes, but rarely can you find a website that covers the local town council, sports, and charity efforts. All things that form the backbone of thriving local papers.

    Local papers are a flyer delivery system, in the same way soda pop is a sugar delivery system. Locals are thriving.

    The majors, denuded of their classified ads, stripped of their national advertising and emptied of their flyers, are knocking on death’s door. The bits of text the major dailies used to fill the spaces around the ads could be printed by a single national newspaper, and spread via the Internet.

    Watch Canada. This phenomenon will play out up here very soon.

  19. islander,

    Much of what you say makes sense.

    If you use the inane, trite, and just fuckwad stupid term sheeple in a post again I won’t be typing so complimentary and graceful response.

    That goes for everybody who uses the term. If you can’t be clever, using unimaninative, idiotic terms like “sheeple” is not an acceptable substitute.

  20. Yea, sheep probably have less of herd mentality than that of the NYTimes parroters and their followers.

  21. Any successful news strategy is going to have to just accept “news piracy” (is anyone using that term yet?) as part of reality because it’s not going away. I am not going to pay for news, period. I’ll get my news articles copy/pasted somewhere else if I have to but I’m not giving them money.

  22. Geotpf: “This national newspaper would do away with that. When the Dodgers play the Mets in New York, instead of the sports reporter from Los Angeles flying to New York to write a story, the local New York guy would file the same story that appeared in the New York version of the paper.”
    Ugh, no please. It’s bad enough to have to read the beat reporter fellating the local team, let alone having to read the local guy fellating the other team when “my” team is playing away.

    islander: “…rarely can you find a website that covers the local town council, sports, and charity efforts. All things that form the backbone of thriving local papers.”
    And when you do… well, just ask the guy who writes Free Whitewater what happens then.

  23. The migration of participating sites behind media-portal walls would have to be coordinated. Some policing would be needed to ensure that premium content is not reposted on free-access sites.

    Frankly, this is a terrible idea. I mean, it’s just awful. You’re proposing trying to slap DRM on the most easily copied media in existence when it doesn’t even work on the ones that are moderately difficult to copy. Doubt it? Ask the porn industry. You’d go bankrupt on enforcement expenses.

    Subscription models are not going to work; the only reason they *do* work for the porn industry is the whole heat-of-the-moment thing. Nobody gets hot and bothered enough about journalism to click that ‘Subscribe Now’ button. At least, nobody that I know. Especially not when ten thousand blogs will be parroting any given story, but with added value, within a day and for free.

    I also seriously doubt that journalists will be out of jobs. The basic skill set of journalism – digging up pertinent facts and delivering them in clear, concise and easily digestible formats – is going to see a boom in the coming years, not a decline. It’s easily adaptable to one of the most pressing needs in online content delivery. That may not be well known outside the web development industry, but professional copywriting is one of the fastest growing niches in the field. Just about every other article in major industry magazines like http://www.alistapart.com is about how to write and organize content. Neither web designers nor programmers have the skills and they’re absolutely critical to the products we create.

    It could be that the future journalist funds himself by keeping a day job in technical writing, copy editing, or web content strategy. It may be that future major web development firms and content creators maintain journalists the way today’s big media does and for roughly the same reasons. Or it may be that journalism manages to become a profitable industry of its own accord again by repairing its reputation and exceeding expectations in the quality and quantity of valuable news it delivers (hah).

  24. I also seriously doubt that journalists will be out of jobs. The basic skill set of journalism – digging up pertinent facts and delivering them in clear, concise and easily digestible formats – is going to see a boom in the coming years, not a decline.

    I’d like to believe so, but I don’t see how. The problem with online news is that there’s no way thus far to make actual money from it.

    I work for a local daily, and I’m very lucky to have my job; the paper almost was shut down a couple months ago, but a buyer stepped in at the last minute. Will I still be employed a month or a year from now? I hope so, but there’s no way to be sure.

  25. I would also endorse a prison sentence for anyone, who in any way, posts less than the truth, as they know it.

    Fuck you.

    Oops, that’s too brief, isn’t it? Ok then: fuck you for presuming to apply the power of the state to decide how to edit a news story. Who’s to decide what details are relevant?

    -jcr

  26. Subscription models are not going to work; the only reason they *do* work for the porn industry

    Do they work for the porn industry? Seems to me that it’s an awfully crowded market, and taking a look at Playboy’s stock price lately, it sure looks like they’re still figuring out how to make money.

    -jcr

  27. You know, they already tried aggregating content in monthly subscription services that paid shares to the content providers. They were called things like “Prodigy” and “America Online”.

    News is facts. Facts can’t be copyrighted. If all current news outlets migrated behind a pay wall, all that would happen is that you’d wind up with news regurgitation sites. The staff of such sites would read the stories, rewrite the stories, and post them on the site, no copyright violation. Operating costs would be a fraction of those for the original reporting companies.

  28. They have no future.

  29. I’d like to believe so, but I don’t see how. The problem with online news is that there’s no way thus far to make actual money from it.

    I work for a local daily, and I’m very lucky to have my job; the paper almost was shut down a couple months ago, but a buyer stepped in at the last minute. Will I still be employed a month or a year from now? I hope so, but there’s no way to be sure.

    Revenue models will emerge as the market shifts. There was no way to make money anywhere on the internet in 1994, but 15 years later millions of people have jobs and brand new ways of doing business have evolved. If you told musicians 100 years ago that their modern analogues would be concerned with performing their music a handful of times in a tiny room somewhere entirely separated from any audience they’d have told you there was no way any musician could ever survive in that environment. This is not different. The doom and gloom stuff needs to go away.

    Things will probably change on both ends – advertising will become more profitable, readership will increase, and expenses and inefficiency will decrease. News organizations will find a balance, and probably other ways of making money besides advertising profits, gradually as things progress. The only way this won’t happen, the surest way to destroy journalism or any other industry, is to panic and try to freeze it in yesterday’s paradigm for fear of tomorrow’s.

    @John, re porn:
    Another example of an old organization trying and mostly failing to adapt to a new paradigm. I was referring more to the ‘new media porn’ that has exploded thanks to the internet. I don’t know too much about how Playboy operates on the internet, but I do know whatever they tried isn’t working terribly well. Top-down big media behemoths are going to have a hard time in general. They’re adapted to a different environment and, like the dinosaurs, their incredible mass has become a liability in a new world full of small, agile competition.

    That’s perfectly okay though; the critical thing to remember is that businesses die and it’s not a bad thing. The people don’t vanish into some permanently unemployed limbo state, or cease to exist; they find new ways to use their skills and build new businesses. This is good for us, this is healthy. We should be excited at the prospect.

  30. The staff of such sites would read the stories, rewrite the stories, and post them on the site, no copyright violation. Operating costs would be a fraction of those for the original reporting companies.

    Until the original reporting companies go under. What will the rewrite staff do then?

    If you told musicians 100 years ago that their modern analogues would be concerned with performing their music a handful of times in a tiny room somewhere entirely separated from any audience they’d have told you there was no way any musician could ever survive in that environment.

    Until you explained how recording technology would change.

    That said, the main problem I see facing papers isn’t even the antiquated business model; there are plenty of local papers that are doing fine, in that they make enough money to pay bills and even turn a profit. Problem is, they’re not making enough to do all that AND pay off the monster debt loads racked up by their corporate parent companies.

  31. Until you explained how recording technology would change.

    Well exactly, that’s the point. From where we stand we don’t know exactly how it will work, we just know what the environment is going to look like more or less. These giant parent companies with all their debt probably will go bankrupt. This is nothing to panic about. They’ll liquidate their assets and sell off these subsidiary companies to cover their debts. The ones that are turning a profit will be bought by other parent companies, or maybe by local investors. Assets don’t disappear when companies go out of business, especially not the assets with proven value. They just get churned out to other companies for other purposes. Sure there’s some loss – a lot of the big old printing presses and other antiquated equipment will eventually end up rusting away or melted down for raw materials, and the people who operate them will have to find new jobs doing other things. By and large, life will go on and business models will change and we’ll all still be reading, listening to and watching the news for as long as we keep caring about what’s happening outside our personal range of perception – which is to say, forever.

  32. Cathy Young: “On the first question, [does society need a professional media] my answer is a…possibly self-serving ‘yes.’ While I am a fan of blogs, I believe they work best when the ‘mainstream media’ and the blogs complement each other. Otherwise, the blogosphere is all too liable to disintegrate into shrill partisan screaming and irresponsible rumor-mongering.”

    “Possibly” self-serving? Try, definitely self-serving.
    And re the “…screaming and irresponsible rumor-mongering…”, are you certain you are thinking of the blogs or to so-called “professional” “news” “reporters”?

    By the way, who is this “society” person that hang-wringers love to prop up. I’d like to meet him. “Society” is always needing something, and somebody is always telling me what I should do for him.

    After this clumsy opening, you then follow up then with a set of solutions in search of a problem.

  33. Micro pay cannot save the newspapers. It might save the writers, but not the newspapers. Infact it may accelerate the decline as individual writers can get income without any connection to the new york times, or whatever.

    The other problem is why save corrupt institutions with crummy writing? They no longer show any interest in the news. They don’t even do crime reporting anymore. The sports reporting sucks too, but that might be because the teams suck, oh I miss Micheal Jordan.

  34. Justen wrote:

    “If you told musicians 100 years ago that their modern analogues would be concerned with performing their music a handful of times in a tiny room somewhere entirely separated from any audience they’d have told you there was no way any musician could ever survive in that environment. This is not different. The doom and gloom stuff needs to go away.”

    Most musicians have not survived. Decades ago there were far more jobs for ordinary, non-famous musicians in things like nightclubs and orchestras. High fidelity recording and music downloading have greatly reduced the demand for professional musicians and symphony orchestras. Especially in classical music, improved recording techniques mean that young musicians have to compete with world famous performers who died decades ago. There are, for example, dozens of recordings of each of Beethoven’s works. The market is saturated. A hundred years ago and even 50 years ago, each new generation of musicians could make a good living playing Beethoven’s works after their older colleagues retired.

    Bring on the gloom and doom stuff. Sometimes, technology takes jobs away and does not create new jobs in their place. Music is a good example, and newspapers probably are too.

    Geotpf is correct that Craigslist and other free, on-line classified services are the main cause of declining newspaper revenue. The problem has nothing to do with readers getting upset about reporters’ and editors’ ideology.

  35. Technology, per se, did not take away anybody’s job. Technology is simply the means to perform a task.

    If one wishes to get paid, he competes in the marketplace. Utilizing a particular music-related technology is one way to get paid. Using the sidewalk, your trumpet, and a collection cup is another way.

    Further, what evidence is there that “decades ago there were far more jobs …. in orchestras and nightclubs”? What are the metrics, the specific numbers, the sales, the figures, the venues…?

    The employment of technology within media, arts, and life, has proven opportunity galore for all those in the stated domains. And it can be used, or ignored. If ignored, then who or what exactly is taking away the job?

    This sounds like a semantic quibble, but I believe the distinction is important.

  36. AV wrote:

    “Technology, per se, did not take away anybody’s job. Technology is simply the means to perform a task.”

    This sounds a little like the assertion that guns don’t kill people etc. Yes, “technology” on its own has no effect, but the way people have made use of high fidelity music recording has resulted in a large reduction of employment in the music business.

    “Using the sidewalk, your trumpet, and a collection cup is another way.”

    This is not a viable way to make a living or support a family. Very few people are willing to make that kind of sacrifice for the sake of art, so if that is one of the few alternatives, the art of classical music will die. Or it will exist mainly in recordings, with a few highly paid professionals, kind of like the “living treasures” who “keep Japan’s most precious creative traditions alive.” As Robert Smith remarked, when the Japanese government designates a person a living treasure that tells you the craft is dead and the person soon will be too.

    “Further, what evidence is there that ‘decades ago there were far more jobs …. in orchestras and nightclubs?’ What are the metrics, the specific numbers, the sales, the figures, the venues…?”

    See T. Page, “A Sour Note. With a few exceptions. the future for classical recordings looks bleak,” Washington Post, June 24, 1996. There are many others sources.

    Perhaps this is mainly true of classical music. I do not follow trends in popular music. If popular music goes extinct that would be a blessing, in my opinion.

  37. My paper just announced layoffs. 21 percent of editorial staff (45 positions).
    We’ll find out at 7 a.m. tomorrow who stays and who goes.

  38. @Jed: that is mainly true of classical music. Classical/symphonic music’s big problem is a decline in demand – not just because of recordings, but because of lack of interest in the genre and the expense of organizing and attending events. As for other types of live musical performance, this is a result of a change in culture, not technology. Your average club these days does not hire a pianist and a vocalist or anything else you’d picture finding in a nightclub in decades past, it hires a live band or a DJ who mixes house music. For better or for worse, that’s what people want. Anyway this really isn’t the place to talk about it, I guess, so I’ll lay off.

  39. Justen wrote:

    “As for other types of live musical performance, this is a result of a change in culture, not technology. Your average club these days . . . hires a live band or a DJ who mixes house music.”

    My point is that in the past, they would not have had the option of “mixing house music.” This may be culture, as you say, but technology has enabled it. Technology has given us alternatives to live music, and this has reduced employment opportunities for musicians because there is a limited market for music. It is not as if we can increase consumption of music by a factor of 3 by listening to 3 songs simultaneously. (Although I gather that’s what “mixing” means, so maybe we can?)

    I favor technology even when it produces unhappy result such as reduced employment; people “mixing” crass cacophony in bars; or the destruction of local newspapers. I favor it, but I do not think we should have Panglossian illusions that progress is always good for everyone.

  40. editorialstaff net notes: With 97% of the MSM pouring their hearts and minds into the destruction of Liberty on planet earth, ridding the earth of their liberal fish wrappers is good riddance. The MSM was never factually main stream. They are 97% liberal water carriers for the disloyal Defeatocrat Majority, now engaged with the God-President the liberal press elected, in killing Pax American Coalition fighting men and women, in the GWOT, with their support of the enemy, which includes the disloyal majority. Nothing could be more poetically just than the end of employment, for those 97% of paid writers and TV’s talking heads who want the end of liberty, for all the rest of us. The few reputable journalists who have not parked the tenets of journalism outside the editorial offices of their enemy publications, can continue to inform us, by printing both sides of any issue, without killing all the trees in the world, and burdening the obsolete US Mail service, and our land fills, with those killed trees, and the poison inks that burned my eyes within seconds of opening the printed pages, and led me to cancel every subscription to every snail mailed publication. Like buggy whips, and the land line telephone that got me a half dozen calls, every day, during my evening meal, enough. My cell phone has gotten less than one unwelcome call per year, at a saving of about half it’s total cell phone cost. Join the world, newspapers are history, and 97 percent of them richly deserved to be out of business. The decent ones will adapt, and reach their customers.

  41. I hope things go well for you, Citizen, whether you stay or go. Good luck.

  42. Like ebook,there is no doubt I prefer to read a real book in my hand than that. traditional way is more significant,and would give us a special reading experience.

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