Reports that newspaper readership throughout the world continues to drop seem to have been widespread in recent weeks.
This morning I read a blog that discussed that very topic and referenced an article from the New Yorker, that I had also read recently, which highlights a prediction that newspapers as we know them will be dead by 2043.
This morning’s blog argued that while blogs are subjective and opinionated by definition, they still provide readers with a better world view than newspapers, which often struggle to be subjective and fair, despite journalists’ protests otherwise.
Tim and I have discussed this extensively during our media/PR/newspaper/coffee chats in the JMS office and, while we both agree we love reading a real newspaper, we realised we do get the majority of our news information during the day from the net.
As a member of Generation Y, I also realised during this dicussion just how impatient I become when news websites are not updated immediately with information I have heard elsewhere (which links to my comments yesterday about not being able to readily find information about encephalitis on the Department of Health website).
Reading the Weekend Australian, for example, becomes a weekend luxury that is stretched over Saturday and Sunday, and even into the following week.
But having just written all that, I received an email from the editor of The Bunyip newspaper in Gawler, who mentioned that their next edition had gone up to 90 pages. From a weekly paper that was averaging about 64 pages per edition when I started there in 2003, it has grown at a fast rate of knots in the last few years (as has Gawler).
For a small country newspaper this has various ramifications, with one summed up nicely by said editor:
(Journalist 1) has chanced upon the wonderful idea for journalists to receive commissions, as do the ad reps, directly aligned to the number of stories they do each week – we can dream!