Truth is, for all the talk of instant news and reader-generated news and blogs and podcast and streaking video and all of that, the thing on the internet that's really doing the most to kill newspapers is Craigslist. Sure, readership might be disappearing at the same slow trickle it's been disappearing for years — and sure that's a problem — but the bigger problem is the much faster disappearance of classifieds revenue as people selling used cars and people selling real estate and, especially, people who need to fill jobs, move their listings online. As an article in the business section of today's Times notes, The San Jose Mercury News, for example, in 2000 saw $118 million job-listings revenue; last year that number was $18 million.
Every time a company places a help-wanted ad on Craigslist, then, rather than in the newspaper, that company is driving a nail in the coffin of the newspapers we all know and love. What horrible kind of a company would do such a thing?
Oh, right: A newspaper company. That can't spell.