It's no secret that the newspaper business is doomed. Once a proud, profitable industry, in many markets, it no longer makes financial sense to print yesterday's news on dead trees.
Investors are bracing for another lousy quarter from newspaper companies. Wall Street expects the New York Times company, for example, to report that second quarter sales were down 19% year-over-year. Analysts expect Gannett to report a 15% year-over-year decline in second quarter revenues. McClatchy sales could drop 25% year-over-year.
But as newspapers die, we're losing more than just a news format. We're also losing a plentiful, inexpensive tool for household activities, arts and crafts, and more.
The Web's do-it-yourself sites are littered with lists of dozens of things to use newspapers for, ranging from washing and drying windows to composting your garbage.
Sure, most of these techniques are designed to help get rid of newspapers you already have. But in some cases, we might actually find ourselves buying newsprint or similar paper to get something done -- like wrapping Christmas ornaments for the season, or securing wine glasses for a move.
And, of course, we'll also miss some of the things that leaner Web news companies have a harder time delivering, like high quality international journalism. It'll be interesting to see who picks up the slack there.