Tag Archives: culture

Paper vs Digital Newspaper Readership/Subscribers – Just Some Thoughts

Why must everything always be an “either / or” thing?

Why can’t they just cater to both sides? Why must we have to pick one or the other? What if I use both formats interchangeably and would rather not ever have to make a reading choice based solely on the fact of print format being inaccessible? I mean, digital media is the newest reading format so obviously all the publishers must jump on that bandwagon. That’s completely understandable and very important to us now and in the future. But, in my opinion, that doesn’t (nor should it) make print any less important!

As someone who was born in the 80’s, went to school in 90’s, graduating high school year 2000, and university in 2004, I am equally comfortable with using both print and digital formats, and I think most others from my generation are likely to say the same thing. Maybe my generation is somewhat unique since we have a little bit of an advantage since we learned old-school stuff early on and then had to adapt to all the tech-based stuff once in high school. Confused? Okay, for example, I recall a penmanship class I had in either kindergarten or 1st grade, learning to write (and read) cursive, using onion paper, frantically trying to keep up with my heavily Swedish-accented teacher’s morning dictation with my eraser-less No.2, and being able to hand-write all my final papers (neatly!) up through 9th or 10th grade. Everything changed in high school when most of our papers were required to be typed on a computer (even though a lot of kids didn’t even have a family computer back then), pagers/beepers were banned because we were all either drug dealers or prostitutes (and cell phones are just so less distracting. Whatever), and we were expected to do actual research on the web, read/answer emails not just use it for spamming friends via AOL/ICQ Chatrooms and Instant Messaging – and take a typing/computer lit. class. of course, my preference for what I like more for reading different things…For example, when I buy a book I want it in print, unless it’s very, very short, article/essay-based, or maybe a haiku. I like household manuals to be printed, too, because I often doggy-ear pages and tend to make quick notes on pages and don’t have the patience for a note-taking program, but I’d rather have a digital copy for self-help or advise or whatnot. Also, I find that I read better (and quicker) with a hard-copy newspaper versus reading it digitally. But that’s just my personal preference if faced with the choice.

Just because sales in print have declined from what the longtime readers switching over to the online version, doesn’t mean print editions are obsolete, less desirable, or that the masses don’t want it anymore! I really wonder what percentage of their sales have, in fact, actually declined due to the decreasingly deplorable quality of journalism, instead aggregating from other outlets who got the info through yet another outlet (remind anyone of the childhood game of telephone??) … That said, most people just don’t want to pay for sub-par ”journalism” with lopsided “research” (or lack-thereof) which reads more like an Op-Ed piece than an investigative article, for instance. At least I know that I don’t which is why I finally cancelled my weekend subscription to a certain nationally reputed newspaper last year. But I’m digressing to a completely different topic, albeit an important one IMO…