Joe Garofili of the San Francisco Chronicle has a nice story in this morning’s newspaper about how the sale of the San Jose Mercury News and Contra Costa Times from Knight Ridder to McClatchy to MediaNews all in the span of weeks is symblomatic of the changes occurring in the media world. One of the effects, he notes, is how people get their business news and information.
Garofili writes, “For years the San Jose Mercury News and the Contra Costa Times tried to foster a sense of community among people who lived within a delivery-truck’s drive of their newsrooms. They created identities based on Silicon Valley life (the Mercury News) and suburban news and prep sports (the Times).
“When the tech boom electrified Silicon Valley, the Mercury’s business section boomed with it. Former business editor Peter Hillan expanded his section from 12 reporters in 1992 to nearly 70 when he left in 2000.
Twenty years ago, Paul Saffo, the Palo Alto futurist, would make a beeline for the Mercury News on the day it carried a recap of Silicon Valley’s latest venture capital deals. Everybody in the valley did. “But now,” Saffo said, “there’s myriad places to get that information.”
Read more here. Where consumers get that information in the future, I believe, will determine the success or failure of newspapers and other media forms. As journalists, we need to push our media outlets in new directions.