The downward slide for Newspapers
I've known for quite some time that newspapers are on the decline and facing staunch competition for ad dollars from the net. After all, all you have do is rummage around on Ebay or Craigslist to get a handle on how much the environment has changed for those looking to sell or buy a used car.
However, it didn't really hit me just how much of a hit newspapers must be taking until I opened this sunday's paper and went to the classifieds. I was struck with how thin the section was. And now, of course, other things that I've been noticing about the paper make even more sense.
What types of ads do I continually see in the daily editions? Ads for products and services related to fibromyalgia, arthritis, back pain, vision loss, and hearing loss. Such ads take center stage in established papers now because the reader base is primarily older individuals.
Younger individuals, and this can include those in their forties and late forties, now get much of their daily news from sources found online. When they want to look for a car or sell one, they go to craigslist. And when they need to find a bargain on a computer or clear the attic of its precious heirlooms, they head to Ebay.
All of this means that local newspapers will never be again what they once were: community hubs for information and local transactions.
My only hope is that they'll manage to survive. Because, honestly, and I think most of us will agree, there's something qualitatively different about reading something that you can actually hold in your hand versus reading from a monitor and scrolling for the "main points" of an article.
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