Newspapers are doomed because people don't want news, they want community

Newspapers are dying and the internet is to blame. For years that's the story people within the news industry have told. But Tyler Hellard argues the really valuable thing that newspapers used to offer was community, not news — and Facebook is unbeatable there.
Just some of the newspapers owned by Postmedia, which has been scaling back production over the past years. (CBC)
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Newspapers are dying and the internet is to blame.

For years that's the story people within the news industry have told, and that narrative has been accompanied by a protracted effort by media to do news differently and protect the industry. 

In fact recent documents obtained by CBC News suggest that media leaders in this country — worried about the effect of Facebook and Google  — want federal policies that would extract money from digital carriers who produce little original Canadian content. 

But Tyler Hellard argues the problem isn't who does news better: it's who does community better. 

What the news said didn't matter, the important thing is that we all shared in it. It became the foundation of our community —something we all participated in.- Tyler Hellard

Hellard says before the internet, people relied on newspapers for a sense of community.

But things have changed: the internet, especially Facebook, does community better than newspapers ever could.

In Hellard's opinion while the news industry might think Facebook can help it, Facebook doesn't actually need the news at all. 

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