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Are Newspapers Obsolete?

October 25th, 2005 by Bob Bly

According to an article published by the Illinois Information Technology Association (IITA), 550 million Internet searches are done daily worldwide ? and only 23% of adults under 30 today read newspapers regularly.

Do you read newspapers? Why or why not?

Will newspapers close their doors within one generation? Or will the Sunday morning ritual of reading the New York Times be around forever?


This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 25th, 2005 at 10:30 am and is filed under Writing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

75 responses about “Are Newspapers Obsolete?”

  1. Buddy Icons said:

    I stopped reading newspapers several years ago. I think they are obsolete and they will be gone within a generation.

  2. Rimantas said:

    Ok, how many millions do 23% make?

  3. Ardath Albee said:

    I like newspapers. They’re kind of an overview I can get with my coffee. I spend much of my time with a computer and sometimes it’s nice not to get all my information from one. I also think you get different information from a newspaper than you get online. Not necessarily better or worse, but different. Besides, there’s nothing like a morning Sudoku, to get your synapses firing. Well, and then I’m over 30, so there you go.

  4. Barry Zweibel said:

    Actually, I’m reading newspapers more than ever – two a day. Although the ‘news’ tends to be a little stale compared to CNN,, but a well-written article can be pretty captivating. Too, I far prefer ME being the one to decide what I will and won’t stay current on instead of some TV producer or editor. Yeah, editors edit newspapers, but that’s one of the reasons I like to read two of them. That, and it’s interesting to compare headlines, story placement, etc. between the two. Almost as much fun as working the daily sudoku puzzle!

  5. Gerold Braun said:

    Not long ago, i attended a paper-making-industrie convention. One resaercher told us, that the “normal” age when people in western culture start reading content-rich newspapers is around 26 to 28. This entry age is known for decades.
    In this light 23% is a really good number.

  6. Detlev Johnson said:

    News services from the wire integrated into online search is just *way* faster (and can be customed) when compared to newspaper. People will always appreciate the feel of the paper in their hands. With good organization of its content, a newspaper can still add value to life. They also collect the local stories that are then propagated online. Newspapers are adapting to the digital age.


  7. Mike Sigers said:

    I could not make it thru the day without my copy of USA Today. I hope they never do away with it.

  8. Emily said:

    I will never tire of picking up the weekend paper and making my way through it. I don’t really like being online on the weekend and there is something about the mix of things available in your average weekend paper that makes it very satisfying to read. During the week, I get most of my news from the television at night and blogging whilst at work but even then it is nice to move away from your desk with your morning coffee to sit and read the paper for 10 minutes, just to get away from the glaring computer screen. I hope they don’t disappear, I still find enjoyment in them.

  9. Marketing Headhunter said:

    According to William Taylor, former publisher of the Boston Globe, newspapers are in serious trouble. You can (scroll way down to) view his comments at Harvard University here:

    And to get some idea of what Google is likely to do to newspapers, watch:

  10. Roy said:

    You spill your morning coffee all over the newspaper, it doesn´t matter, you spill your coffee all over your laptop… I´ve done both. The other situation cost me and the insurance company a bit more. I´m sticking with the newspaper/coffee combination.

  11. sarah said:

    I live in the most isolated city of the world (guess where). The headlines of our state n.p is “Rush to Live in Heart of the City” and ” Black… well, it’s the new black for winter’s austere wardrobe”. Everyday we pay $1.10; we then cut out the “win a car coupons” and put the rest on top of the weekly stack. It’s not long before its death and rebirth into next week’s coupon. On a less creative and sarcastic note, i think that there are a lot of newspapers, which have interesting, credible and informative articles. Even though the Internet has dissolved the editorial, print and publishing process. The same amount of crap (or even more) can be found on the net. The Internet has enabled time and space to be compressed even more than the “physical world”. We are able to read up on personal and mediated reports of current issues in “real” time, rather than waiting for tomorrow’s paper. Nevertheless, the tradition of reading print media and arguing over the lift out sections has not faded. Well at least not in this city.

  12. Susanna K. Hutcheson said:

    It seems that most people get their news from television and the Internet. I think because it’s more real-time. Moreover, people are basically lazy and reading takes effort. In addition, people have less time to read. But I think the local newspaper is still important for the things that have always made it important, the obits, classifieds and local ads. Having said that, however, I doubt that the newspaper will ever hold the importance that it once did. In a way that is sad. But the fact is, things evolve and people have to evolve with the times.

  13. Darren said:

    I believe the printed version will continue to exist in some form — especially the weekend edition(s), primarily because they are a form of entertainment. To be honest, I would prefer to read a hard copy paper just because, like a few others stated, I get tired of sitting in front of a computer monitor. BUT it does seem to take less time to get my news fix from the internet. So when I’m in a rush and need an update on what’s happening in the world, I go straight to the computer. But when I retire (someday), you will most likely find me enjoying the paper in a recliner with the computer turned OFF!! One more thing — I believe it was Susanna who made the point about newspapers still being relevant because of the classifieds. With all due respect, I think you may be overestimating the power of classifieds. In my opinion, that is probably the LEAST useful section of the modern day newspaper. Want to buy a car? Go to Looking for a job? How about Need to rent a house? Take a look at Need a date? Try The list goes on….

  14. Jason said:

    I’m 35 – 36 this month (sigh). The only reason my wife and I get the newspaper is for the Sunday coupons. We only want Sunday, but the newspaper is giving us the other six days “free”. Those six days go in the trash. By the time I get to it, the information is stale.

    I get my headlines online. Weather online. Opinion online. I have my start page set up to deliver the content I am interested in. Newspapers can’t customize. The might be more relevant if I could get more local news but the local papers (Denver) still focus too much on national news. Don’t need it. Already know it by the time I get to the paper.

  15. Mordechai (Morty) Schiller said:

    Check out this item from Poynter Online:
    “Newspapers Are ‘Morally Superior’? Huh?”

  16. juegosadicto said:

    could not make it thru the day without my copy of USA Today. I hope they never do away with

  17. California said:

    i’m 21 years old and i read news online because they are updated more often than i.e. daily newspapers. i read local or dedicated newspapers because they provide news that might not be on web. oh, and by the way i prefer reading text printed on paper. i don’t mean i like to print online news and then read them, but i prefer to read books/newspapers to reading those on pc.

  18. Pat (High School Student) said:

    I’m 15 years old. Currently In High School.

    Now I think that reading newspaper online/on TV and on paper both has a plus side and a bad side.

    Newspapers, most recently mentioned on this page by another person, costs less to buy a new one rather than buying a new computer because its ruined.

    A bad side to reading newspaper is that not all of the articles can really catch your attention. In other words, mind my manners, they are boring as hell…Sometimes you might not even be able to find articles you want to read about.

    News Online has a plus side since you can look for the most up to date news and its free on most sites. Kids today at about the age of 10 or older start using computers to do their homework such as essays and current events. I would know, since I did that before along with my other classmates in school.

    A bad side to reading newpapers online is that you might not always be able to go online everywhere you. Some places would not even let you turn on electric devices like air planes.

    Personally My opinion would be for online/Tv news since its more up-to-date.
    Pretty much soon digital media will take over and readin from text on paper would probably not be necessary anymore. News will also probably be accessible from any and/or everywhere you go.

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  20. Ron Hylen said:

    I would not ask if papers are obsolete. I would ask “do you read the papers. The answer would tell me ALL I have to know about you!
    Anything else, TV, Blog, conversation, is a lot like reading a 2 page pamplet on “gone with the wind.”
    If what goes on in the world is important to you, you will read the newspapers. Case closed!

  21. Freelance Copywriter Leeds said:

    I think newspapers are still a good way of getting the news but with thing such as google news and msn news i think they will soon die out

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  29. Tod Mor said:

    Got my first letter yesterday! Loved it. I feel like I am a piece of something terrific which is just starting to happen. Feeling a strange feeling of community around it all. Maybe you’re on to something here! Who would have ever assumed that persons would really print out words on paper just to have it sent with the mail to another person’s mailbox. Next thing you know, peoe will likely be growing their own food and walking or riding bikes everywhere. It’ll never do the job, damn progress.

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