How bad is it? Between March and September, circulation in America’s top 500 newspapers fell 4.6 percent. The Los Angeles Times has lost about a quarter of its circulation so far in this young century. The Christian Science Monitor has become a web publication. The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press have cut home delivery to three days a week. Layoffs are happening everywhere.
Read all here. One of the G&D journalism sites I frequent notes that the average newspaper reader is 56 years old. Has it occurred to any publisher that a person that age likely has 20 or 25 years of life left? Instead of trying to make newspapers appeal to a generation that is not equipped to read, why don't the papers try to please the hard-core readers and accept a certain loss of the bales of money that used to roll in? The effort to make newspapers more pleasing to a visually oriented young crowd leaves papers looking like middle-school social science textbooks. I really don't need a photo of a stack of $100 bills to help me understand a finance article, nor a pie chart to show me that in an election that broke 50-50, each candidate pretty much got half the vote. Art that helps is helpful, but in newspapers, art for art's sake is a loser and space-waster. Noticed today that in some Vicad story the writer talked about someone having a 'conscious,' a painful error.