In a Society that continues to be dominated by the Internet and online media, the same question continues to engulf our minds: How have print newspapers continued to survive? The era in which print newspapers flourished is slowly coming to an end, while online media becomes the “it” place to get news.
In recent years, the society we live in has become overly accustomed to relying on the Internet in order to get their daily fix of news. It is quite simple to understand why readers chose to read their papers online instead of buying a newspaper. First, the Internet is available in the comfort of your own house, it saves paper, and is easier to manage. After all, who would want to flip through a newspaper when you could easily flip through your iPad?
A study done by the University of Southern California reported that those accessing online content read for around 53 minutes every week, the most since the study began (8 years), and tht nearly a quarter of them had ended their subscriptions for print magazines and papers for the reason that they could get the same information by going online.
On the internet, news sites provide real-time information, and those sites are able to supplement articles with audio and video, as well as being able to access archived information easily and quickly, according to Jeffrey I. Cole, Director of the USC’s Digital Future Center. “For the first time in 60 years, newspapers are back in the breaking news business, except now their delivery method is electronic and not paper.” In the modern era, news can be seen and reported almost immediately.
While there are many who don’t believe in the necessity of a print newspaper, there are just as many people who believe that there should be enough profit in print newspapers to make a viable business for many years to come. “The widespread newspaper industry layoffs of the last few years, while painful, should make papers more viable when the recession ends,” said Rick Edmonds, media business analyst for the Poynter Institute.
There have been, and will continue to be, those who think that the future of news is only on the internet, however, they continue to ignore one of the most important and critical point. “Online ad revenue just isn’t enough to support most news companies, not in the way print advertising does. For online-only news organizations to survive, they’ll need an as-yet undiscovered business model,” said Martin Langeveld, a columnist for Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab.
This will continue to be a raging debate with critics on both sides arguing that newspapers are or aren’t necessary. It is obvious that online media is on the rise, especially with technological growth making it easier to access news online via Laptops, iPads, and even mobile devices. However, if there is one thing that can be taken away from this argument it is unless someone can figure out a way to make online news sites more profitable, newspapers aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
By Habtamu Karg