I started Financial Times subscription this week. Last week, I took advantage an offer (or a bait) of $49 for 6 months subscription. I have subscribed and read FT in the past (a few years ago when I did not know much about finance). The main reason is my WSJ and Barrons subscription are expiring, Barrons expires on Aug, WSJ on late Sept. While I enjoyed reading those two newspaper, I found the quality of those two paper are declining fast. Some obvious mistakes include printing same sentence twice (WSJ), paper becomes thinner and thinner (WSJ). As to Barron’s, they more or less get into what I would call “stock picking” business (guess the winners in the stock market, which is OK except they only show what they got right afterwards).
Newspaper business is under great distress nowadays, due to the credit crisis, and more fundamentally, because they can not replace the declining printing business with online business (which is dominated by Google). Many good people left newspaper volunteerly and involunteerly. Some news lovers are crying “the death of newspaper”, which is unlikely in the near future. But I think newspaper, to a great extent, the traditional media outlets still have a role in the future, if they can prove that they provide value. Maybe we will all read the newspaper on Kindle or iPhone, watch TV on iPhone or Palm Pre in the future. If the quality of the paper or TV are really good, I am sure people will pay for it. Yes, we can pretty much browse news on Google, or Yahoo nowadays, but it’s more like “browse”, check out things, not serious reading.
To that extent, I like Financial Times, NPR (KWMU), PBS (KETC), MoneyTrack, because they still do serious news these days. Hopefully I can cook better bread from the better dough. Long live the good news outlet 🙂