Formerly SpringBlog

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Decline of Newspapers

While reading Chapter 3 in Shirky, he mentions newspapers and web news. This made me think of the decline of newspapers as time goes on. I remember not too long ago when the internet wasn't so widespread and people had daily subscriptions to local and national newspapers rather than just accessing the internet to find out what is going on in current events. I remember when I was little my Dad reading the newspaper every morning during breakfast, but in the past couple years he hasn't anymore. We now only have a subscription to the Sunday paper, not the daily paper. I mean why would you pay for subscription when you can access it online for free?

However, I do wonder if this is a good or bad thing. It is cheaper to access the news online, it is easier considering you can do this on your phone or in your office. I mean you don't even have to get out of bed and go get the newspaper from the driveway anymore. You can just lay in bed and log online. Another positive mentioned in the chapter is that now anyone can publish news. There is no longer a group of "professionals" who get to decide what is news worthy, now anyone can publish news so there is a wider array of news available depending on what you are interested in.

But I also think of the downside. With there being so much information, there is a potential for information overload. Also, considering there is the availability for just anyone to post online you have to make an effort to make sure what you are reading is factual. With a printed newspaper, at the least you know that it goes through editors and sources are already checked. You know what you are reading is legitimate. Also, if the newspaper business keeps declining a lot of people will lose their jobs, which will add to unemployment and hurt our economy. Peoples jobs are being replaced by technology.

There are pros and cons for both.


  1. Its a sad time, I am in between a rock and a hard place because when I was a little kid my dad use to take me out for breakfast at this local cafe. Every Saturday morning I use to always watch the older man order a cup of coffee and read the local newspaper and talk about what they would read. When I grew older I would do the same thing until I went back to college. It was hard readjusting from going to a small cafe to going to the atrium, and it was even harder reading from and a computer screen than just grabbing a folded paper and reading about whats going on back home.

    I think what I am trying to say is that the news from the internet is taking the joy of the actual newspaper itself.

  2. I agree with both Fredrick and Emily. When you think about it, newspapers themselves are a large part of our culture. We make jokes about dogs fetching the paper. All-American dads on old TV shows are always depicted sitting at the table reading the paper. My family, like Emily's, would sit together at breakfast and read the paper. My parents still do on Sundays and I fear the day they stop. It was such a large part of my childhood, a routine that was never broken.

    The Internet, as Fredrick said, is less fun to read than the paper. We have no emotional connection to the Internet, while the papers we read at home are the same ones we've been reading forever. They are a piece of us. Not once have I been able to cut an article from the Internet when I was given acclaims for being on honor roll. There's just something about having those physical pieces of printed history in my hands. It means more than it does on the Internet.

  3. Never fear . . . digital "subscriptions" are here! The New York Times just rolled out digital subscriptions to their Canadian readers. They will do the same in the U.S. and the rest of the world on March 28. For those people who are already home delivery subscribers, meaning they get an actual newspaper delivered to their homes, there will be no change. They will continue to have "full and free access" to the online news. But for those people who are not home delivery subscribers, they will have limits placed on them. They will be able to view 20 articles each month at no cost, then they'll have to pay. For smartphone users, they will have free access to only the "top news" section. They'll have to pay for access to other sections.

    Will people pay? What will happen when cost is no longer the decisive factor when determining where to get the news (online or on paper)? If other newspapers and publications follow suit, we may all be sitting at our kitchen tables, reading our newspapers, chatting with our families about the day's news many, many years from now.

  4. I still find value in the written word. My family lives in a suburb of Chicago and we still get the Chicago Tribune every day. Both of my parents read the newspaper while eating breakfast and this is something that I have picked up the habit of doing as well. I do not feel connected when I don't read the newspaper, which I will admit it doesn't happen very often, but I do not often read news on my computer or watch the news. I use my computer for too many other things, so reading it for news purposes does not often enter my mind. I think newspapers will continue to be around for at least a bit longer because there are many people who love the feeling of holding the newspaper in their hands. And that's another thing—the argument that books are going to run out as well. I don't think that will happen any time soon if ever. Anyone else with me on that one?