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Metroland Bankruptcy: Here Comes the Metaverse

September 23rd, 2023 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, are Baby Boomers the last, crumbling line of defense?

By now you will have heard that Nordstar is putting its Metroland Media Group division into creditor protection under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. As part of this restructuring process, more than 70 local newspapers will move to a digital-only format.

600 + jobs will be eliminated in the process. And to add insult to injury, the affected employees will receive no termination or severance pay. They will have to file claims within the bankruptcy process in the hopes of getting some form of payout. In many cases, the legal costs of doing so will be such that it does not make sense to even try.

Perhaps if Nordstar axed a few of the high-paid executives, who waited too long to take action in the face of what was inevitable, they could afford to pay the 600 + workers at least some of the severance they deserve. But it is always the foot soldiers who take the brunt of the impact in these situations.

Admittedly, I do not have a personal stake in the matter. But it does stir mixed emotions in me. My first professional job, 45 years ago after graduating from college, was as a reporter-photographer for a community newspaper. Fortunately for me, I packed in it after 1-1/2 years to go back to school to get my university degree and pursue a different profession.

The reality is that the demise of these local newspapers was a foregone conclusion. It is part of the transition that has been taking place for some time now. We are moving inexorably, from an information perspective, from a print-based environment to a digital one.

The advertising revenue that community newspapers depended upon has dried up as advertisers react to this reality and shift their spend to digital mediums including tech giants Google and Facebook. There is no turning back in this respect. Adapt or die is the rule of the day.

Looking at the matter from the 30,000 foot perspective, it is part of the major paradigm shift of our generation. In terms of interacting and of spending money, we have passed the tipping point. The digital realm now dominates. And this is just the tip of the virtual iceberg.

We are not far away from the day when it will be possible to live 24/7 without ever stepping out the front door if we choose. The Metaverse – defined in broad terms as a digital space where technology allows people to immerse themselves in an online reality – is shifting from a metaphor to an actual fact.

The Metaverse is charging at us with an unstoppable momentum. All of us technology-challenged Baby Boomers, who prefer the physical world to the virtual one, may be the last, crumbling line of defense. Once we are gone, the front doors may be permanently locked and the virtual doors left permanently open.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at .

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