FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Why Young People Aren't Newspaper Readers

Media bloggers such as BuzzMachine's Jeff Jarvis are constantly reminding us that as a news medium, the newspaper is dying. Though it's been in declining health since the early 1980s, the newspaper industry is constantly having nails hammered into its coffin by more immediate information technologies.

If newspapers are hoping to attract young readers to their traditional products, it may be a lost cause. Witness this excerpt from a young blogger, MasterMaq, whom BuzzMachine quotes:

I hate almost everything about newspapers. I don't like the size of the paper. I don't like the way it makes everything black. I don't like that every page has to be jammed full of stuff. I don't like that the pages are not full color. I don't like that once I find something interesting, I can't do anything with it (like send it to a friend, or blog about it with a link, etc).

In other words, MasterMaq hates newspapers because they're not websites or blogs. Those media meet his needs; newspapers don't, and nothing can be done about that.

Newspaper readership is down among young people, but not because they are illiterate or unconcerned with current events, as many have suggested. Young people care very much about the world around them; they just want to learn about it in real time, and through the high-tech tools that they can relate to.

Presuming that MasterMaq is representative of his peers, traditional newsprint may be in even deeper trouble than anyone thought.

Source: BuzzMachine