Morph or Die: Clark Kent on life support

newsA variation of Queen’s 70’s classic rock anthem song title, Another One Bites the ‘Saw’ Dust, could be a fitting subtitle for what is currently going down with traditional newspaper organizations across the globe.

AbitibiBowater’s recent application for bankruptcy protection is but a symptom of an overall world-wide decline in demand for paper products (e.g. newsprint) that is shaking the foundations of the global pulp & paper industry.

Not surprisingly, newspapers around the world are going down faster than ‘keggers’ at a frat party. 24/7 access to online news and information and Web2.0 technologies that allow anyone with an internet connection to be their own publisher has, for some time, been eating away at traditional print-based newspaper organizations.

Not so for the Huffington Post. This dazzling web-based infotainment site oozes multi-media galore, eye candy for a public whose attention span more and more resembles a tse-tse fly hooked on crack cocaine. Don’t be fooled though – the HP contains as much steak as it does sizzle.

They draw you in like a Vegas-style hooker with their flashy photos and tabloid-style blog post headlines (Talented ugly person baffles world) but then deliver some insightful commentary on topics from colorful bloggers like Jane Fonda and Naomi Klein.

The HP can accommodate the hyperactive surfer looking for a news fix from the ‘Quick News’ option-link associated with each story. This feature gives the ‘reader-on-the-go’ a two-paragraph summary of an article or there is the full version option for those who have time to spare or are the more cerebral among us.

Though thousands of pulp & paper and newspaper jobs hang in the balance, perhaps the world-wide drop in demand for paper products may not be all gloom and doom. It may even slow the pace of global warming, give trees a fighting chance to live a natural life span and innovative entrepreneurs an opportunity to take the traditional print-based news and entertainment players off of life support and have them humming to the bitter-sweet strains of Queen’s The Show Must Go On.

Photo Credit: Mr. Peebles

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