'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

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in Business

Just In