The news hits every newspaper hard.

I read with great interest last week that the Omaha World-Herald was eliminating 43 jobs.

Twenty-four employees were layed off, and the rest were open positions that will not be filled.

It hits home because before I bought the Humphrey (Neb.) Democrat, I was called into an office and told because of budget issues I no longer had a job.

The cause for the cuts is not shocking, but that does not mean I do not have a knot in my stomach.

Fewer businesses are advertising in the World-Herald because fewer people are walking into their stores to shop.

People are buying more and more online, from groceries to hardware.

It trickles down.

Fewer shoppers means less advertising dollars, which means fewer ads in newspapers.

Papers make their money from advertisers. We need subscribers, but it is the advertising dollars that keep people at their jobs.

Fortunate are the newspapers that have businesses willing to spend money with them through their print edition, online edition or both.

Like any business, newspapers can always use more business. Talk to any successful business owner, and they will tell you they always need more customers.

The World-Herald is losing subscribers, like most newspapers are, because society no longer places the same value on picking up a paper. More and more we are becoming a digital society.

We can get just about everything on our computers, tablets and phones. We shop, play games, listen to music and get information 24 hours a day, seven days a week with the click of a mouse or the movement of our fingers.

We are no longer content to start our day with a newspaper or to read it after a work day.

Newspapers are not immune to this trend.

Online editions started because readership is growing away from print.

Everyone wants everything now.

Food, shopping and information all have to be available when the consumer wants it. They do not want to wait. Because of that, some newspapers and magazine have eliminated their print editions and either faded away completely or have moved exclusively to online editions.

It is hard to imagine a world in which newspapers do not exist as they do today, but then again mobile phones have only been around since the 1970s, and now it is hard to find someone who does not own one.

Times are changing, just ask any of those former World-Herald employees.


Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.