Another interesting item from the March 13 edition of On The Media, about the lack of concern among younger folks that their local newspaper may be going away.
One of the biggest issues that’s overlooked is “the crisis of relevance” … why shed tears over something that you never valued in the first place?
As is discussed in the interview, the younger demographic has no reason to read the newspaper because everything they basically need in terms of civics is already on TV. Why spend money on wood pulp when a) it’s online for free, and b) it’s also already on TV right before one’s fave nightly sitcom comes on?
What this says to me is that newspapers aren’t and haven’t been distinguishing themselves from TV. They’re not offering anything different, they’re not offering depth, they’re not bringing in compelling new topics.
Have newspapers made themselves irrelevant? If so, this is more than a technological phenomenon of people going to get the stuff for free online they’d otherwise pay for.
The issue becomes one of newspapers themselves making themselves matter by covering issues people want and need to know about, and that they can’t learn about anywhere else.