'Groupon Is Going to Destroy the Newspaper Coupon Business'

Serious news rarely pays for itself. Even in the heyday of newspapers, publishers used classifieds, coupons and advertising from the car and house sections to cover the cost of reporting the world from City Hall to Sydney. But today, you don't need the Washington Post to learn about apartments, deals and cars. Instead, you go straight to websites like Craigslist, Living Social and Carmax. "The Internet has been one giant system for stripping away such cross-subsidies," James Fallows once wrote, by letting "users find the one article they are looking for, rather than making them buy the entire paper that paid the reporter."

That's why the rise of Groupon is more bad news for print newspapers. Online coupon sites take out yet another leg that historically held up print journalism:

Gilbert said emerging competitors, such as Groupon, threaten to do a lot more damage to newspapers, much like Craigslist all but evaporated the industry's classified ad base.

"Groupon is going to destroy the newspaper coupon business," he said.

Read the full story at News and Tech.

Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open for 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Business

Just In