Every day it seems I'm hearing more and more of newspapers going under or taking their business to a strictly on-line deal. I'm not talking about small newspapers. I'm speaking of big city papers. As someone who got a degree in print journalism and wrote in that medium for years, I find it sad. Not surprising, but sad.
They have, after all, become dinosaurs in a survival of the fittest world. Our world is fast, computer savvy, and yes, getting expensive. The coveted advertising dollars that newspapers need to survive are going the way of the do do. Personally, I'd love to see papers hang around. Forever. After all they are part of our history from the days of Guttenburg and his printing press and Benjamin Franklin. Besides all that, what is better on a lazy Sunday morning than a fresh cup of hot coffee and the crackling sound of the morning paper?
However, I fear, the demise of the newspaper is inevitable. More and more people are going for the quick news fix to be found on-line and in short sound bites on the evening news. Most of us these days are fairly computer savvy. We've learned to cruise the net, publish books in e form for reader convenience. We understand how to navigate the cyber world. Still there are vast numbers of folk out there who might easily call themselves "dinosaurs". My mom is one and freely admits it. The other day she was talking with me about getting a little laptop PC. She wants to learn to send emails, read the news and shop on line. No problem, I told her. I'd help her find something that was perfect for her and show her how to use it. There are plenty of people like Mom who know they should learn but are just a eensy bit afraid of the technology.
As we see e-books flourish in this fast paced market, bookstores will begin to decline and, in fact, lately we've seen plenty of evidence to support that. It's my belief bookstores are here to stay but I believe they will co-exist on an equal playing field with e-books as more and more people become computer literate. The world is changing at the speed of light and we must change with it.