By: Mitch Allen
I think everyone can agree that our world as a whole is in the digital age, there is no doubting that one bit. We no longer turn to physical properties to receive our daily source of news. Newspapers are dying and as much as I want to hold on to them for as long as possible, the next 5 years will be the death of the physical newspaper. No matter the side your on as a consumer it has all come down to efficient delivery systems and business models for the content creators and distributors. Print vs. Digital, display ads vs. pay-per-click, etc.
But as a mid 20’s college student what does this even matter if I’m not reading the news no matter how it’s delivered to me. And there are more out there just like me. A statistic shown by the Kennedy School of Government’s Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy says that only one in 20 teens and one in 12 young adults say they read the newspaper on close to a daily basis. Network newscasts as well as newspapers have also been in decline for some time now and the audience that remains just continues to grow older.
I feel it’s difficult for most youth to pick up a newspaper when nothing in it is relevant to them. I find it very difficult to be personally affected by current events. With wars going on around us, there is still no draft so call me selfish but for me this is of sight, out of mind. It’s hard for me to be involved in the political side of the news as well without even having my own mortgage to pay. The news seems completely irrelevant to me. Even with the use of online newspapers young people were the only category to record a drop every year. 2008 having 64% of youth surveyed saying they read online newspapers and in 2009 dropping to 54%.
It’s our duty to be informed of the world around us but at the same time it’s the newspaper business’s duty to keep the information interesting and relevant. If it’s necessary for the news to turn toward social media outlets such as facebook where 80% of youth say they interact, then so be it. But until then, why worry about delivery when no one’s even reading?