The daily press is becoming antiquated, writes Newsday reporter Justin Davidson. For those who follow the media, this isn’t news (pardon the pun). Newspapers are searching for relevancy in an online world. While everyone believes the media will change soon, just what that future will look like is still in question.
"It’s hard to avoid eulogies for the news industry, or the Orwellian scenarios in which propaganda and entertainment all but obliterate information," writes Davidson. "Some envision a future in which news will slip effortlessly into cyberspace, with professionals working alongside amateur citizen-journalists. A few expect technological salvation to come in the form of a roll-up plastic computer screen that could be read on the beach or in the bathroom. What virtually all industry-watchers agree on is that the news business needs a radical renovation."
The data are alarming. Joseph Epstein writes in the current Commentary about some of the domographic realities daily newspapers face today as they struggle to survive. "Four-fifths of Americans once read newspapers; today, apparently fewer than half do. Among adults, in the decade 1990-2000, daily readership fell from 52.6 percent to 37.5 percent," he writes. Among those between ages 18 and 34, the future for the media, only 19 percent consulted a daily newspaper. "From 1999 to 2004, according to the Newspaper Association of America, general circulation dropped by another 1.3 million."