Selling ice cubes in Antarctica

Fortune has a piece on the challenges facing the newspaper business that asks: "Can newspaper publishers turn the Internet from a threat into an opportunity ...? It's a long shot, but it's their only hope. Their plight is something not often seen in business: Newspapers remain important institutions, providing a valuable public service, but their business model is slowly, or maybe not so slowly, going away."

It's a lengthy piece full of facts and sidebar graphics and illustrative anecdotes about the Washington Post, but I can boil it down to one simple truth: If your business model is predicated on scarcity and you're suddenly operating in a world of surplus, you're in deep doo-doo. Time to come up with a Plan B.

The story makes a passing reference to some interesting innovation projects at newspapers: BigLickU, the moms site from Dallas Morning News, Palm Springs Desert Sun's FoodPsycho.com. But instead of looking ahead at what might be, it's mostly a rehash of everything you've seen/heard over the last year.

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