The past couple of years have been really interesting to watch in terms of changes in the media world. As the first “Web” employee for a publication in the ’90s, I saw first-hand how hard it was (and is) to convince those in print media that the future is online.

Every day, we continue to see the signs of an evolution (revolution?). Will a print newspaper still exist in 10 years? My wager is probably not. Heck, I’m not even sure about five years.

Our local paper, the Detroit Free Press, has an opening for a “Community Conversation Editor.” The description is described in these not-so-subtle terms: “The job is critical to the Detroit Free Press’ future.” Even more revealing is that when the newspaper described itself, it barely mentioned the word “newspaper” but instead called itself the state’s leading news source.

Meanwhile, The Cincinnati Post and The Kentucky Post will shut down at the end of the year. Jeff Jarvis of Buzz Machine has been adding nails to the newspaper coffin, citing reports from The Wall Street Journal and others.

Becoming more interactive online, sites like USA Today now allow comments on each story and are accepting citizen journalist reports. And The New York Times is becoming more active with its blogs.

Is blogging the answer? Not universally. However, I do feel that people are finally realizing the potential of blogs – not just blogging for the sake of being on top of the next big thing, but using the platform as a way to connect with people and build relationships – something that’s missing in a print newspaper.

— Tonja Deegan

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