TheDeath of the Newspaper Medium
TheDeath of the Newspaper Medium
Anidea that the newspaper is a dying type of medium has been propagatedfor several years. Trends indicate that the number of people who readthe newspaper the previous day has fallen from 41 % to about 23 %(Pew Research Center, 2012). The number of those who buy the paperson a regularly has gone down from 54 % to 38 % from 2004 (PewResearch Center, 2012). This is a significant decline, which confirmsthe fear that the newspaper medium will die in the near future. Theshocking trend shows that the decline in the readership of thenewspaper is directly associated with an increase in penetration ofthe internet. Therefore, the newspaper is gradually being replaced byalternative sources of information and news (including the blogs) andit will become a medium of the past, if necessary measures are nottaken to enhance its competitiveness with the emerging mediums.
Althoughmany young people consider the electronic-based types of media astheir primary sources of information, it is possible to draw a largenumber of them back to reading the newspapers. This can be achievedby addressing the key weaknesses that have resulted in the loss ofcompetitiveness of the newspaper among the young generation. Studieshave shown that the media houses can attract young readers byreducing their grip with traditional practices of producing andpresented advertisements as well as the news (Crospin, 2012). Forexample, the employment of youths in the print media canrevolutionize the content and ensure that the newspaper address theneeds of the young generation, unlike the current situation wheremost of the media houses recruit journalists with at least 15 yearsof experience (Crospin, 2012).
Thereis no doubt that the sale of newspapers has declined significantlyover the years, but there are two strategies that can be used toattract the younger audience. First, the editors should facilitatethe readers’ engagement in the process of news production. One ofthe key factors that have resulted in a decline in the circulation ofnewspapers is the fact that the youths feel that this media does notinvolve or consult them in the process of producing news as theinternet does (Crospin, 2012). Therefore, adopting strategies thatwill allow readers to contribute their views will increase thecirculation of the newspaper. Secondly, the “editing forexperience” is another strategy that has been shown to attract morereaders (Nestbitt & Lavine, 2015). A media house that chooses toapply this strategy needs to determine the impact it intends to makeon its audience, craft the content, and present it in a manner thatis appealing to the audience, instead or using traditional methods.
Theinstability in the newspaper business is indicated by the frequentchange in the ownership, significant decline in revenue within thelast two decades, and a complete shutdown of the major newspapers.For example, studies have shown that the circulation of the newspaperhas decreased by 17 % on average within the last two decades(Mitchell & Matsa, 2015). Other newspapers (such as The TampaTribune) were forced to shut down because they were no longerprofitable (Paulgillin, 2016). A combination of these challenges hasresulted in a decline in revenue generated from newspaper by about 50% (Mitchell & Matsa, 2015).
Inconclusion, all trends indicate that the newspaper medium is headedfor a collapse. The decline in the circulation has been attributed bythe introduction of technology-based alternatives (such as TV andblogs) that facilitate the interaction between the media houses andtheir audience. Consequently, media houses can attract a large numberof youths to read their papers by avoiding the traditional wars ofpresenting the news as well as adverts. They should allow moreinteraction as well as the engagement of the audiences in theprocesses of obtaining, processing, presenting the content.
Crospin,S. (2012). Attractingyoung readers: Tactics for engagement.Christchurch: University of Canterbury.
Mitchell,A. & Matsa, K. (2015, May 22). The declining value of U.S.newspaper. PewResearch Center.Retrieved July 17, 2016, fromhttp://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/22/the-declining-value-of-u-s-newspapers/
Nestbitt,M. & Lavine, J. (2015). Reinvestingthe newspaper for young adults.Kirkland, WA: Northwest University.
Paulgillin,B. (2016, May 4). R.I.P. Tampa Tribune. NewspaperDeath Watch.Retrieved July 17, 2016, from http://newspaperdeathwatch.com/
PewResearch Center (2012, September 27). In changing news landscape,even television is vulnerable. PewResearch Center.Retrieved July 17, 2016, fromhttp://www.people-press.org/2012/09/27/in-changing-news-landscape-even-television-is-vulnerable/