There is news today of a continued hemorrhaging of circulation for many of America’s finest daily newspapers. They’re losing readership at rate only surpassed by the speed at which Paris Hilton collects STDs.
Ordinarily, this kind of news (much like news earlier in the year of layoffs at the New York Times) makes me laugh with such severity that milk comes out my nose. Even if I’m not drinking milk.
The declines show an acceleration of a years-long trend of falling circulation at daily newspapers as more people, especially young adults, turn to the Internet for news and as newspapers cut back on less profitable circulation.
Of the rest of the top 20 newspapers reporting, all but one, the Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., posted declines generally ranging between 1 per cent and 8 per cent.
The San Francisco Chronicle, published by Hearst Corp., posted a 16.4 per cent tumble in circulation as the newspaper slashed back on less profitable, heavily discounted and giveaway circulation subsidized by advertisers.
I was just listening to Boortz on the way to pick up a disappointing grilled chicken caesar salad from Panera Bread and he mentioned something that made me reconsider my celebration regarding the decline of the newsie biz.
One particular point he made was that the skid is probably more of a reflection of how much higher the American illiteracy rate is after decades of failed government schooling. That’s a depressing, though pretty realistic, thought.
Another thought that I had was that the drooling idiots in the general public continue to move towards Ophrah’s O Magazine, People and Us Weekly to get the news that really matters to them – you know, why Jen and Brad split up and what Sandra Bollocks is wearing these days. There is such a massive population of uninformed celebrity-culture cretins milling about the country that I fear their affliction may be contagious.
I’d like to think that this massive move away from the daily rag is due to the informed public abandoning a medium that has long been dominated and slanted by liberals, and moving towards more targeted sources of information, such as online news outlets and blogs.
So my question is this (assuming that the average newspaper subscriber is fairly well-informed irrespective of political perspective):
Aaron’s CC has a few thoughts on declining Old Media newspaper readership as well.