Law & Ethics Notes: Free Lance-Star (Virginia) files for bankruptcy

It’s not quite “another one bites the dust,” but yet another newspaper, the Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Va.) has filed for bankruptcy. A Bloomberg News report by Dawn McCarty (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-23/free-lance-star-newspaper-in-virginia-files-bankruptcy.html) details the financial stresses and strains that have afflicted the paper. Businesses can and do emerge from bankruptcy, but this filing is obviously not a good sign.

For converged communicators in MMC3200 (Law and Ethics in Communication), this is a familiar topic. We’ve discussed newspaper bankruptcies and the multitude of factors affecting them – competition from other media, the urge to attract subscribers, and the need to restrain costs. While many newspapers have adapted successfully to changing conditions, others have not. And when a media business – or any other business – loses too much money for too long, bankruptcy is a possible result.

Can you think of some ways that newspapers can adapt to the rapidly changing media marketplace of today?

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