The Demise of the Printed Newspaper

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Ahh! Few morning rituals beat that of pouring a piping hot cup of coffee and unfolding the day’s newspaper, skimming through the various sized, bolded headlines, stopping to read an article or two. Each section fits within the subconscious hierarchy of which gets read first, second, and so on. Skim the front page, devour the sports page, check out the business section and end with the comics to start the day with a smile.

Of course the newspaper hangs around the house for a day or two; one never knows when the television or movie listings will be needed. Mom may find the perfect dinner recipe in the taste section, or the second hand patio furniture that she’s been searching for in the classifieds. Yes, reading the newspaper has become an American pastime that serves so many purposes – information, entertainment, diversion, and amusement. This is why it is a sad sight to see so many of America’s once great newspapers headed toward a gloomy end.

The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and The Miami Herald are all titans in the newsprint industry, and they are just four of the many newspapers that are in serious financial trouble with little hope in sight. These four newspapers, along with the myriad of other papers in financial doubt, have another common bond however; their editorial boards and editors have sought to only represent one side of the political landscape; the left. This is not an assertion that politics are the sole reason for their impending demise, but it is a reason that is always overlooked by the “experts”.

Americans in great numbers are choosing to get their news from alternative media sources. Whether it is from talk radio, the internet, or cable news, the mainstream newspapers are losing their grip on the morning ritual. What do these alternative outlets offer that the newspapers do not? Besides the real time reporting, for millions of Americans they offer a different view of the political prism. Or perhaps the lost art of political neutrality is practiced by these non traditional media outlets. Regrettably, politics cannot be overlooked as a contributing factor.

These are truly sad times for we who refuse to change our morning ritual of coffee and the newspaper. Perhaps if the powers that be would have saved the political bias for the editorial page only and just printed the news, they could have increased their market share as robustly as say, Fox News. Alas, could these newspaper giants be the next recipients of a taxpayer bailout?

Adam Nardone, Senior Editor, Director of Research -Tax Policy. Mr. Nardone is a policy analyst, specializing in tax and economic studies. He holds a B.A. from University of Nebraska, and a M.A. from American University.
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