In a fast paced world where information can be found with the click of a button, newspapers are finding it hard to compete. According to The Washington Post, the New York Times lost 7 percent of its daily paid circulation, the Los Angeles Times lost 11 percent and The Washington Post lost 6 percent. The San Francisco Chronicle lost nearly 26 percent of its paid daily readers, and The Dallas Morning News and The Newark Star-Ledger each lost about 22 percent. Around the nation newspapers are losing millions of dollars.
When my dad was a kid in the 1960s, he delivered a morning and evening newspaper. Having demand for a newspaper twice daily is hardly imaginable today! For those who continue to read newspapers and have been reading them for awhile they may have noticed that newspapers have become much thinner. Newspapers just can’t afford to have as many stories as they used to.
Last week I saw the USA Today where the entire front page was an advertisement for the Chrysler 200. Is that what delivering news to the citizens has come down to? They are so desperate for money that they are willing to sell their front cover to a car advertisement. Should newspapers continue this behavior? How much longer can they hold on? The Eau Claire Leader Telegram now charges online subscriptions. Is this the answer?
So what does this mean for journalists who work for the newspaper? According to bls.gov, employment for journalists is expected to decline 6 percent between 2008 and 2018. Should all journalists in this field prepare to shift in to another direction? Local newspapers are continuing to stay in demand, but what do the rest of those in the print media do? Clearly the newspaper needs to discover alternatives and I am sure that within the next year we will be seeing changes.