Thursday, October 1, 2009

I am so tired of reading about the death of print media

One of the things I was looking forward to most about retirement was spending a few hours each morning drinking my cup of tea and reading the morning paper. I’m a news junkie and I love having a newspaper which I can hold in my hand. An iPhone or a laptop just doesn’t do it or me. I guess that makes me a sixty something dinosaur.

I have read some thoughtful analyses of the impending demise of the newspaper industry. But Daniel Lyons September 27 Newsweek article, "Don't Bail Out Newspapers--Let Them Die and Get Out of the Way" was different—an almost gleeful anticipation of the death of the newspaper industry. From Lyons article:

I recently canceled my two morning papers—The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal—because I got tired of carrying them from the front porch to the recycling bin, sometimes without even looking at them. Fact is, I only care about a tiny percentage of what those papers publish, and I can read them on my computer or my iPhone. And I can rely on blogs and Twitter to steer me to articles worth reading.

Read the complete article

Lyons is missing a whole lot. Newspapers matter not just because a lot of us seniors like getting information that way. Just one example: having strong local newspapers is a powerful means of exposing political corruption on the local level. Internet sites tend not to have a local focus—they want as many hits as possible regardless of geographic location.

So what do you think? Will our papers disappear as Lyons predicts? How many of us care?


  1. Karen,
    Did theater die with a cinema invention as predicted? Have you seen the parking lots near any movie establishment on Friday nights? They are full, even though most of us own a TV set and even a DVD player. Old fashion radio is still around, and I can’t think of better companion for the long commute than NPR.
    My answer for your question: yes, boring, unprofessional papers will disappear and why would we care to save them?

  2. Marina,
    You make some very good points about how our fears about demise of movie theaters, radio have proven to be unfounded.

    I have my fingers crossed re. the future of the Phila Inquirer. It may not be one the best newspapers around but it’s my local paper and I sure hope it doesn’t disappear.

  3. Karen,

    I did see that article about the demise of print media and, must admit, I was somewhat disheartened at the thought that the comforting newspaper might somehow disappear.

    Not that I get to do it often (for I get most of my news and information from the internet), I love to leisurely sift through the New York Times on a Sunday.

    I work at a law firm, and lawyers have a tendency to accumulate paper (literally, tons of it). But even law firms are changing their paper-wasting ways nowadays. Most of our library and publication resources are electronic, and there are even some areas of law at our firm that are paperless.

    I tend to believe, like Marina, that the trusty print media will not totally disappear, and probably the more popular newspapers will remain available.


  4. Hi Tammy, it’s great to hear from you! This is Tammy G, isn't it? You’re right—the world is trending paperless. Our bank and credit card companies are constantly trying to get us to agree to on line banking and billing.

    I guess going paperless makes ecological sense, but I can’t imagine life without my Sunday NYT and that means the print edition. It’s why Sunday morning has always been my favorite time of the week!