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THE YEAR 2000! We finally got there and it appears our systems have come through the ordeal relatively unscathed. The Y2K bug didn't close us down and we all seem to be working well as we move into the New Year.
For most newspapers, the Y2K event has been a traumatic experience as publishers have either Band-Aided old systems to give them an ongoing lease on life, or they have bought new systems to get them into the new century. For many newspapers, this may be viewed as the time to sit back and relax, happy that they have survived the trauma and are still in operation.
Such an approach is too complacent. In fact, all that most of them have done is to maintain the status quo, either with upgraded old systems or with new systems that really do little more than the ones they replaced. But with newspapers facing massive change as they accommodate the challenge of Internet publishing, there is little to be complacent about. 1999 may have been a great year in terms of revenues and returns, but that doesn't put off the challenge from the Internet.
Third-wave doldrums. One of the first things newspapers should be looking at is how their operations function. In reality, there has been almost no change since the …