The lack of competitive online and mobile products from newspapers has left a huge opening for startups.
And that’s good news for a lot of us.
If you’re an entrepreneurial journalist, maybe you should be happy there is very little competition in the online landscape. Yes, I know that there are some companies like the Las Vegas Sun, Lawrence Journal-World, Washington Post, New York Times and some others doing innovative things online, but the vast majority of newspapers have craptastic Web sites.
Small community papers should be most afraid. These are often the papers with the worst Web sites (some don’t have any and many have barely functional ones). They rarely have good archives, almost never allow comments and discussion and many don’t update in-between print editions.
Plus, the barriers to entry for doing small-town journalism (be it offline or online) are much lower. A basic WordPress installation would be much better than most small-town newspapers’ Web sites.
Someone is going to benefit from the poor effort that most newspapers are putting online. This is a perfect opportunity for entrepreneurs to move in and defeat a weak enemy and give people a better product at the same time.