The 21st century abandons the print newspaper industry

By Dominique Smith / Staff Writer

(Photo Illustration by Viewpoints )

By Dominique Smith / Staff Writer

The print newspaper industry is slowly, but surely, reaching an untimely death.

However, it’s highly debatable whether anyone will really miss this casualty.

Since the dot com boom in the early 1980s, communication has developed into a rocket, blasting information from here to the other side of the continent in just mere seconds.

We live in a world where the news runs on a 24 hour cycle. By the time the latest breaking news gets out there on the local and global circuits, something else already has happened.

Seattle’s Post-Intelligencer,  the Rocky Mountain and the San Francisco Chronicle, to list only a few names, will be sent to the shredder. These newspapers will soon be forced to move all their paper staff to an online-only basis.

Time magazine recently did a study where it featured the 10 newspapers that may not make it through.

In a recent study done by the Pew Research Center, 11 percent of Americans use tablets, while 77 percent of those people use their tablets every day. That same 77 percent rapidly consume news stories.

It seems that tablets are the only way to go for news consumption as it resembles a digital paper in more ways than one.

Newspapers simply can’t keep up with how fast information is being spit out by camera phones and iPhone applications. Even Rupert Murdock’s News Corp. is finding it hard to stay afloat with all of this diversity within the news industry.

Even though online and mobile editions do exist, newspapers take too long to reach audiences in print format. It can take up to 24 hours to press an issue. Meanwhile, it’s so easy to update Twitter feeds or a Facebook status with just a click of a button. Why would anyone want to wait?

To think that one can get information with the flick of the wrist or the click of a mouse at all times of the day is mind blowing. The phrase, “Beam me up, Scotty” is more of a possibility than just fantasy fiction, thanks to the help of 3G and 4G speeds.

The 21st century travels fast,  transforming the human mind into a computer processing data at a mile a minute.

The print newspaper is a dinosaur or, as seasoned newspaper columnist Alan D. Mutter calls it, a “newsosaur.” Because of this, these newspapers have no way to accurately gauge their audience.

They have completely separated themselves from the reader by sticking to a conservative tradition.

As the younger generations grow up, it becomes harder for them to imagine picking up an outdated black and white canvas and filling in the latest crossword puzzle.

It’s much easier, however, to picture them watching the 3D edition of “Star Wars” on Blu-ray, or tuning into to the latest episode of “E! News” or TMZ just to get the latest scoop on their favorite celebrity.

To see a newspaper as prestigious as the New York Times reach its untimely demise is heartbreaking, but in order to survive, one must keep up with the times, no pun intended.

The only plausible solution is to get out of the race and make way for innovators who are prepared to change the way we see and consume news. On the bright side, if the servers ever crash or we log offline we can always go back to old faithful.

It’s a shame to see the newspaper business dwindle to its slow painful death.

Readership is only dying at a small percentage. If newspapers can find a way to hit their audience on a broader scale, they can regain momentum.

Using telemarketing and other pesky annoyances are not helping though. Technology is not going to slow down. It will only continue to sail uncharted waters.

If the newspaper industry does reach its end, will anyone even notice?

This new generation wants to be informed and they don’t seek their news in the old-fashioned way, like we’ve been used to for the last 300 years.

Times are changing and if you can’t adapt, you can’t survive.

Until then we are on a constant death watch with the newspaper industry, but with such a small crawl to its demise, we still have 10 years to wait before it really is extinct.