Local Newspapers On Alarm

Newspapers are closing around the country at breathtaking speed. In 2004 about 1,800 newspaper stands and businesses have shut down, the reason so many newspapers are closing is because of the Internet and online news going out to people for free instead of purchasing traditional paper news, but the biggest reason traditional newspapers are going bankrupt at record pace is because the advertising revenue has shrunk. The online newspapers and websites now collect the bulk of advertising revenues. Without money, a newspaper can’t survive.

Recently, political scientists Jennifer Lawless and Danny Hayes studied the effect of newspaper closures and the shrinking coverage across America and its effect on elections for Congress and due to the lack of funds, they said “To the extent that the local news environment continues to deteriorate a likely scenario as the industry continues to struggle observers’ concerns about political engagement in localities across the United States appear very much justified.”

Meanwhile technology has actually hurt newspapers, and while newspapers continue to fight the good fight for survival, the odds continuously grow larger against their survival. Critics accuse the owners of Media News Group, a company that owns 20 newspapers in California, of effectively using newspapers as a cash cow to get more money and many people with subscriptions don’t know that the newspapers have shut down, practically stealing subscriber’s money.

What the future holds for the newspaper industry isn’t clear, but it is definitely under attack and going through a painful transformation.