The Accelerating Decline of Newspapers

By Elizabeth Tomlinson

As many are well aware, the number of citizens reading newspapers is dwindling at an alarming rate. Newspapers are quickly dying out across the United States, and they are being replaced with modern technology such as television, the internet, and mobile devices.

Newspapers are at an all time low for circulation. It is estimated that about 30 million Americans pay for a newspaper Monday through Saturday, and 40 million on Sunday.

So what factors have contributed to the failure of newspapers? First, publishers have hiked their prices. Also, several publishers will no longer deliver newspapers to areas unless they are more populated. Another factor is that it is difficult to compete with the internet’s cheap advertising prices when ads are so expensive in print.

Government-related activity has been working over the past year to slow the decline of the newspapers. Meetings have taken place involving the FTC, business leaders, and national politicians. They released a paper titled, “Potential Policy Recommendations to Support the Reinvention of Journalism”. In the paper, they declare their goal is to increase revenues and decrease costs for news producing organizations, but also to make it more difficult for nonqualified people to post news on the internet.

While many struggle to save the newspaper industry, some think we should focus our efforts on keeping up with the modern trends in news broadcasting.

“Newspapers have ceased to be a mass medium by any stretch of the imagination,” said former journalist and television executive Alan Mutter.

Reach columnist William Ray has a more optimistic take on the future of the newspapers. He believes that newspapers have the upper hand when it comes to the slower cycle of news allowing them to put out well thought out and researched information.

Who will be right? Are newspapers a thing of the past, or will they once again become a dominant news source in America?

-Elizabeth Tomlinson

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One Response to The Accelerating Decline of Newspapers

  1. Kristine Miluna says:

    The declining of newspaper popularity makes me think about the “war” that accrued long ago between Cinema and Television. People had no reason to go to the cinema, because they had TV to watch. The number of people who went to cinema declined rapidly, however, movie industry saved herself by cooperating with television.

    I wouldn’t say that newspapers are failing. Every medium has had its ‘golden times’ so have newspapers. It is obvious that no one will force people to read newspapers when there are so many other ways to get news. Therefore, I agree that we should focus our efforts on keeping up with the modern trends in news broadcasting. Now almost every major newspaper has its electronic version – New York Times, Los Angeles Times etc.

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