What Happened To Detroit's Newspapers After They Stopped Home Delivery
Adrienne LaFrance, a staff writer at Harvard University's Nieman Journalism Lab, examines Detroit three years after the News and Free Press shocked the American newspaper industry by halting home delivery four days a week. Other major newspaper are curtailing delivery and even stopping the printing of paper editions to concentrate on their digital operations.
She writes: "American newspapers are caught in a bind. They still earn the vast majority of their revenue — around 80 percent — from their print editions. Print ads sell for higher rates; print readers spend more time with the product and make it part of their daily routine.
"But newspapers are also aware that their attachment to print makes it harder to be fully, natively digital, to respond to audience needs and market opportunities with the agility an online-only outlet can. Those printing presses cost money to own and run; those delivery trucks take a lot of gas. Print is at once newspapers’ most important asset and their greatest albatross.