Having a journalism degree and dozens of years under my belt writing for newspapers, I admit a special affinity for news on the printed page. Yes, I read stuff online, but I still like to sit down with a newspaper open at lunch or dinner.
Of course, most people's reading habits have spelled a death knell for the printed page. Call it naive, but I remember the shock I felt when someone I'd sent a box to had no newspaper around to use as wrapping and padding- not one page. She confessed to reading only online. The printed page is still the first choice I think for most people over 50 as lifelong habits are hard to break, but for many younger readers, unless their parents were regular newspaper readers, the daily paper just isn't that important.
I would hope, though, that those looking for news are at least perusing papers online and not depending on TV network news only. With sound bites and bias, there's a lot overlooked and a lot left unsaid.
Newspapers have been trying to change their style - trying to get hipper, shorter, a la USA Today, in hopes of gaining new readers, keeping what they have - and cutting costs. Shorter stories, less newsprint. But the latest economy crunch, combined with the escalating costs in newsprint, has publishers hanging on by their fingernails.
Papers are bleeding readers and the changes they often make to try to hang on aren't always for the better. Some go the diet route, making the paper trimmer in pages and leaner in content. The result? A paper that has much less to read, and fewer pages. I know they're trying to stay in business, but the end result can make that 75 cents even harder to spend if you think you're getting even less for your money.
** Your Turn: Do you read the newspaper in print or online? Do/did you read in print? What made you change (or not change your reading habits?)