Internet and Social Media
June 22, 2013
Are enough safeguards in place?

The Internet continues to pummel newspapers, which are losing advertisers to online media and failing to earn enough from their own digital operations to cover operating costs. Internet sites have proliferated, but a handful — led by Google — have corralled the vast majority of visitors and income. Privacy advocates are increasingly concerned about online companies collecting vast amounts of personal information about users. The federal government is attempting to figure out how to thwart cyber attacks by criminals, terrorists and unfriendly nations. The proposed Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) would allow businesses and government to share cyberthreat information without violating antitrust and privacy laws, but President Obama has threatened to veto the measure, saying it would violate consumer privacy. Meanwhile, debate rages over how to protect intellectual property in the digital age.

Holding an iPad, former U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon
            Leibowitz announces on Jan. 3, 2013, that the agency had closed an investigation of
            Google over allegations of uncompetitive conduct. The FTC found that the company had not
            violated antitrust laws. Google voluntarily agreed to make it easier for advertisers
            to switch ad campaigns to competitors and ended exclusive search deals with websites.
            (AFP/Getty Images/Mladen Antonov)   Holding an iPad, former U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz announces on Jan. 3, 2013, that the agency had closed an investigation of Google over allegations of uncompetitive conduct. The FTC found that the company had not violated antitrust laws. Google voluntarily agreed to make it easier for advertisers to switch ad campaigns to competitors and ended exclusive search deals with websites. (AFP/Getty Images/Mladen Antonov)

Bowing to the increasing influence and popularity of the Internet, The Cleveland Plain Dealer in April became the latest big newspaper to announce a sharp cutback in personnel and production: The paper, Ohio’s largest, plans to curtail home delivery to three days a week and lay off a third of its already-shrunken staff. The paper will continue to print seven days per week, but will be available only at newsstands on four.

The changes will occur this summer when the paper's parent company, Advance Publications, plans to expand its Internet presence. Advance — which also owns 11 weekly newspapers in the Cleveland area, the Cleveland.com website and other media properties around the country — will consolidate content production in a newly formed Northeast Ohio Media Group and create a new website that mimics The Plain Dealer’s format. Plain Dealer subscribers will have access to the new site, which will be available to others for a fee. 1

RELATED REPORTS