Background Note | HBS Case Collection | March 2009 (Revised January 2010)

The Newspaper Industry in Crisis

by David J. Collis, Peter W. Olson and Mary Furey


This note is a primer on the newspaper industry, which has been in decline in the U.S. and Western Europe. The 19th century business model whereby news and editorial content was packaged and delivered to homes daily and paid for by national advertisers has been overturned by the Internet and the corresponding immediate access to global information. The note covers the history of newspapers, industry economics, current news consumption trends, the response of the newspapers to the threat of the Internet, and vignettes highlighting newspaper business models throughout the world.

Keywords: Business Model; Business History; Newspapers; Disruptive Innovation; Consumer Behavior; Business Strategy; Internet; Journalism and News Industry; Publishing Industry; Europe; United States;


Collis, David J., Peter W. Olson, and Mary Furey. "The Newspaper Industry in Crisis." Harvard Business School Background Note 709-463, March 2009. (Revised January 2010.)