With the rise in popularity of the internet, newspapers will soon become a thing of the past.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Readership of newspapers is said to be declining in the face of deep electronic media penetration forcing many to conjecture that the future of print journalism is bleak.Although it is admitted that the explosion of the internet and television has increased the range of media choices available to the average reader,cutting into the dominance of newspapers as the main source of news,predictions of their sudden demise carry little conviction.
It is quite true that the arrival of television in the 1950’s and the invention of the internet in the 1990’s have proved to be dangerous foes for the traditional newspaper model.Their appeal lies in easy accessibility and lower cost.As access to online newspapers is practically free,readers can dip in and out according to how they perceive the urgency of events.Further,sophisticated search engines allow them to personalise the news to their own priorities and interests.As news stories break,news websites post minute by minute updates.There are no space inhibitions to prevent narrative or analysis and documents or events cited in the news stories can always be accessed in full proving to be an impressive departure from the straitjacket of newspaper reading.
However,the precocious pessimism and unwarranted hyperbole of those who proclaim the imminent demise of the physical newspaper is clearly unsustainable.A quick perusal of any leading daily tells us that they have already adopted measures to weather the trough in readership.They appear to be revising content to target younger readers as well as carrying shorter shorties acting on the prevalent assumption that the attention span of the general public is shrinking,along with using the social media to their advantage.Further,the long term relationship most dailies share with their readers will keep them relevant.In other words,so many people are habituated to reading the newspaper with their cup of tea in the morning.It is hard to imagine that anyone who is accustomed to reading a newspaper in the physical form would forego it in the name of better portability and convenience.
To conclude,as long as newspapers strive to forge ahead by dispensing with the obsolete methods of news presentation and people do not break their age old habit of following the news in a physical format,the digital media will not outlast them.