Why Newspapers and The News Are Not Only A Dying Model, But Dead
“I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.” – Thomas Jefferson
I don’t subscribe to the newspaper anymore, but I got one this morning. I’m sure that it was a teaser to try to get me to subscribe. Upon reading it, I realized I already knew everything in the paper except the local high school football scores from games after I went to bed.
A DYING MODEL
The subscription rates to newspapers are dying, not even a slow death. Similarly, the evening news is also a dinosaur. They report what we knew as much as a full day before.
I am on twitter and read blogs all day long. I occasionally go to the news sites, but as I discuss below, their bias (I hold both left and right guilty equally here) usually makes me fact check what I’m trying to find out which defeats the purpose of fact-finding, especially if it involves politics. That subject is pretty much unavoidable these days.
Nevertheless, I enjoy many other subjects which you could read about it on other blog entries if you have nothing better to do, and I find good information about them that is interesting and INSTANT.
I’m a boomer, although a technically savvy one having been in the IT industry all my life. The Gen X,Y, millennials, and whomever follows them demand even more instantaneous everything virtually dooming the news model of our prior generation. Thank you Internet.
We have establish that we are now used to getting information instantaneously. The other reason that the model is dying is that they are biased. This is ok if you are a neo-con or a loony lefty, but for everyone else (the other 80% given 10% on the edges of left and right) we don’t trust them anymore.
Once, these two sources were the basis of our world and local information. Besides being static rather than dynamic, they also have stopped being factual sources of information, rather they are partisan, with Fox on one side and CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, NYT, WAPO, LA TImes, Reuters, AP, HuffPo, Local News, Local Papers and most other news sources on the other side of issues. All are positioned in a place that position the facts from a point of view. Some of them blatantly lie. Reporting was supposed to be the facts of the story that let the reader make up their mind on their position.
We’ve actually learned that the news has been biased for at least as long as there has been television, we just didn’t have the instant fact checking that the internet and the other sources have provided.
There is a joke from Bernie Goldberg that said if they had been reporting on Moses at Mt. Sinai, the headline would read “Moses get the 10 Commandments from God, and here are the two that we think are important to you”.
Walter Cronkite said that the Viet Nam war was lost during the time that we were winning. LBJ said that if he’d lost Cronkite, he’d lost America. We’ve since learned that the then “most trusted man in America” was also one of the most biased.
LIFE MOVES ON
Other things have died and we have lived and moved on. Black and white TV, network only channels vs. cable TV and landline phones vs. mobile (cell for those in the US) phones. Such is the fate of newspapers and TV network news. Here is just one fact concerning the NYT declining rates. I’m sure you could find somewhere that their subscriptions are increasing, but this would seem deceitful given the nature of digital delivery.
So am I disturbed by this trend? Actually I didn’t even notice it until I saw the paper in my yard this morning. I haven’t subscribed for news in many years (note: I get the Sunday paper for the coupons as long as they pay for the 1 day delivery – my sister calls me a tightwad but it leads to becoming this).
I get my news from the above stated sources and know more about what is going on than the anchors have time to present in their biases manner.
So as they say, life moves on.