Australia’s 4,600 retail and distribution newsagents need to create a business model which links them directly with consumers in the news and information area. As middlemen in the supply chain today we run the risk of being discarded when our economic relevance drops below a point of viability. Publishers have always ‘owned’ the relationship with their readers.
Newsagents can establish a direct consumer relationship by embracing blogging and citizen journalism technology and becoming a bricks and mortar conduit for local (community) news. While operating online, the resultant stories could be ‘published’ in short form and provided to the local community free from retail newsagencies.
This would underscore the role of newsagencies as local gathering places which makes sense since they are locally owned businesses employing local people and service the local community.