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Newspapers’ deadly pact with Wall Street

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When newspapers decided to go public they put the interest of shareholders before their readers, according to author James O'Shea. The fallout from that decision has been well-documented: increased leverage mixed with falling revenues and declining readership pushed many newspapers into bankruptcy or close to it.

O’Shea calls it a “deal from hell.” But what does the future hold for newspapers? And will they be able to survive the online revolution?

“We haven’t really resolved if these institutions can survive in their present form,” O’Shea says. “Delivering a newspaper to somebody’s door everyday is something that is very expensive and the cost of the paper doesn’t reflect that.”

O’Shea believes that ultimately, the newspaper market will become more fragmented.  

“The rich will get great news and they’ll get great coverage, everybody else will be left to fend from themselves…and that’s a fundamental change from the way we do things [in the U.S.],” he says.
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