Newspapers America’s Fastest Shrinking Industry

No surprise here

In recent weeks, LinkedIn, the networking website, and the Council of Economic Advisers have reported that the press is “America’s fastest-shrinking industry”, measured by jobs lost; the Newspaper Association of America has shown that advertising sales have halved since 2005 and are now at 1984’s level; and the Pew Research Center has found that for every digital ad dollar they earned, they lost $7 in print ads.

As media from television to billboards bounce back from the recession, newsprint is being left behind. Zenith Optimedia this week predicted that internet advertising would pass newspaper advertising next year around the world – but in the US, where internet penetration is high and newspaper audiences are shrinking, digital will overtake newspapers’ and magazines’ combined ad sales this year, eMarketer estimates.

Simply put, newspapers have become obsolete in the Internet Age.  Why would anyone rely on a once-daily paper when they can get information in real time online?  News websites like this one (Breitbart.com) are updated constantly throughout the day, and the latest headlines break on Twitter in mere moments.  And now, in the world of iPads, smartphones, and lightweight laptops, people have access to breaking news just about any time and anywhere on the planet. 

Furthermore, much has been done by New Media to educate the American people as to how unethically biased most of the dead-tree papers have been for a considerable time. The vast majority of newspapers deliver virtually the same news with virtually the same (liberal) slant.  So, as the World Wide Web rapidly and inevitably becomes the most common way people receive their news, how many allegedly-unbiased-but-actually-lefty newspapers are necessary?  It’s hard to say for sure, but not nearly as many as we have.

Additionally, in recent years, some of the best reportage has been done on-line at sites like this one, proving a New York Times-style newsroom is unnecessary to break stories and drive narratives. 

One of Andrew Breitbart’s ambitions was to create a democratized media, a media where citizen-journalists and a couple of online-editors could scoop the biggest networks and publish what the old-school media would not.  That’s what we’re witnessing before our eyes, and we’re better off for it.


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