Zimo Wang

Do you still read newspapers?

How many people still have the habits to read newspaper or get news in print today? MSU offers free print version of news media on campus; students can easily pick up one almost in every building. But I always see a lot of packed paper left, and I wonder where do they go eventually? At the same time, I barely see students read a newspaper walking around, on the bus or in the hall. Instead, we are on the phone all the time. As the recent Pew Media report on newspapers shows us, more Americans now consume news digitally. The financial and subscriber has been declined since 2000s.

“The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, both companies saw large gains in digital circulation in the past year: 42% for the Times and 26% for the Journal, on top of gains in 2016,” according to the report. “If these independently produced figures were included in both 2016 and 2017, weekday digital circulation would have risen by 10%.”

This could be a trend that people tended to read news in digital rather than in print. But the challenge is the overall weekday circulation has been fallen by 4 percent in 2017. Nowadays, our life speed is fast, it’s hard for us to spend a lot whole time on something. We normally switch between work, homework, emails, and phone call. That makes it difficult to stick with the news on weekdays and I can get my opinions approved by the following data on the website, the average minutes per visit for the top 50 U.S. daily newspapers is about two and a half minutes. How much you can think about a news deeply or pay enough attention in two and a half minutes? Not sure. But I know that’s a sufficient time for me to reply a normal email, texting a message, buy myself a cup of coffee. From the efficiency aspect, I may not read a newspaper or even a news online as well.

Economics will definitely be influenced. The report mentioned the total estimated newspaper industry advertising revenue for 2017 was $16.5 billion, based on the Center’s analysis of financial statements for publicly traded newspaper companies. This decreased 10% from 2016. I think less revenue will make the company to hire less people, especially in the future, some jobs could be done by artificial intelligence. Maybe colleges can do a statistic about how many students are still concentration in print media as far as I know digital news become more and more popular.

I am surprised that under the newsroom investment content, “According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics, 39,210 people worked as reporters, editors, photographers, or film and video editors in the newspaper industry in 2017. That is down 15% from 2014 and 45% from 2004.” Even newspaper position has a decline, I thought video editing, photographers are still popular because these are more technology based and may have a wider career choice.

One thought on “Do you still read newspapers?

  1. I still read newspapers!

    But I agree with the points you brought up and also thought a lot about how students our age consume news while reading the report for class. I often see student print media—including The State News and VIM—around buildings on campus and always wonder whether or not students are actually reading the hard copies or instead just reading the material online. I think many people are looking to get their news online and on social media, and I think that’s causing a shift in how newspapers are publishing their work.


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