Seeing the light, in print

Even though it is seven pages long, I recommend reading this article: The News Business: Out of Print: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker.
(A printable version of the whole thing can be downloaded here.)

"Since 1990, a quarter of all American newspaper jobs have disappeared. The columnist Molly Ivins complained, shortly before her death, that the newspaper companies’ solution to their problem was to make “our product smaller and less helpful and less interesting.” That may help explain why the dwindling number of Americans who buy and read a daily paper are spending less time with it; the average is down to less than fifteen hours a month. Only nineteen per cent of Americans between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four claim even to look at a daily newspaper. The average age of the American newspaper reader is fifty-five and rising."

Yet: "we need to consider what will become of those people, both at home and abroad, who depend on such journalistic enterprises to keep them safe from various forms of torture, oppression, and injustice. “People do awful things to each other,” the veteran war photographer George Guthrie says in “Night and Day,” Tom Stoppard’s 1978 play about foreign correspondents. “But it’s worse in places where everybody is kept in the dark.” "

3 thoughts on “Seeing the light, in print

  1. This makes fine research, Maxine, as I’m about to head to the Oxford Lit Fest and an event on newspaper reporting in the UK. I will read this article at length and before I go, make sure I understand the assertions, as best I can.

  2. ‘Tis true, and has been true for quite some time. Newspapers are in the throes of reinventing themselves, but no one really has a design yet sure to capture those elusive young readers. (Probably never again will it be a dead-tree-in-hand every morning with coffee.) Free content online seems to be the preference of younger readers, though papers have yet to find a way to make much money off this.

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