Friday, March 27, 2009

Survival of the Fittest

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.

10 comments:

P.A.Brown said...

The problem I see with the demise of major newspapers is that people will now be getting their news from focused sources like blogs and the like. The problem there is that many if not most of these blogs will be very narrow in their focus. There will be no outlet for balanced reporting. No one will pursue a greater truth or expose wrongs. Or there will be voices shouting into the wilderness, being drowned out by all the millions of other voices in the wind. How many financial or political excesses will occur and there's no one to expose them or care because we're all too wound up in our own shallow quick fixes?

Julia Barrett said...

I hope the newspaper doesn't go the way of the dinosaur because there will go all the legitimate journalists - bye bye investigative reporting. I'd rather read news than rumor, innuendo, and internet mythology. I love the advantages of the computer, but I hate to see the printed word disappear. By the way, hope the wisdom teeth removal goes well!

Taylor Tryst said...

I couldn't agree more, and I think it's really sad. I remember the days of buying that Sunday paper. Loved the Entertainment section, oh and Travel.
I live in the 'outskirts' of the US and not many people here use the Internet. Lot's of older folks, farmers, ranchers who don't even know how to use a computer or wouldn't want to. So, we have two town newspapers in a town of 1000 folks. I read them both because one won't cover anything 'contraversial'. I'd be lost without my internet, TV, and outside sources for news, however. Lost.

Good luck to your daughter, R.
Hugs,

Paris said...

One of the reasons for the newspapers demise could be directly related to the demise of investigative journalism. When a celebrity's drug overdose death spends three weeks on the front page and war news is pushed to the eighth or tenth page there's something wrong. I don't remember exactly when it started but news seems to have become "entertainment". Like Taylor, I live in a small town with one newspaper. I buy the Sunday newspaper and read the news online and hope for the best.

Regina Carlysle said...

I think we're in agreement here that losing our newspapers would be an awful thing. They are just having money troubles and it's sad that economic bad times have hit them so hard. I suspect we'll be turning to the news magazines for our in-depth stuff. They took could be hurting soon though.

There is plenty of sensational stuff out there but for the real deal, investigative reporting is so important. The Powers that Be must answer to the people and this will really hurt the flow of information.

Kelley Nyrae said...

I hope newspapers don't go away. I love technology and moving forward but still. Some times you feel like you're being taken over by it.

Regina Carlysle said...

I know, Kelley. I think it's kind of sad.

Mary Ricksen said...

I hope it sticks around, but what can you do.
Times change don't they.

Katie Reus said...

I'm in the minority but I actually don't mind if the paper aspect of newspapers die (sorry, lol). I guess it's b/c I don't read them and I don't personally know anyone who does. I get all my info from the news and online (not blogs!) and I like being able to navigate quickly to what sections I want to read. I also like the fact that the news I read online is updated a lot faster so I'm getting the most up to date version of a story.

Anne Rainey said...

my brother-in-law and his girlfriend both work at our local paper. And they've had LOTS of layoffs recently. Yep, it's scary!