Oct. 1-5 is National Newspaper Week, a time to think about the impact of newspapers on our society and our world.
"So what, newspapers are dead," some may say. But you're reading this, aren't you?
The fact of the matter is that the death knell was being sounded for newspapers clear back in the 1950s with the advent of television. And certainly, the electronic media has had a profound impact on our society and culture, with the cell phone capable of providing any media and any entertainment possible. But the newspaper, whatever its form, should prove to remain alive and well for years to come.
Online publications, once considered 'quirky' and not 'real', have in fact become the rule and not the exception for many people.
According to a recent report from the Pew Research Center, more Americans get news online than from radios or newspapers. Twenty-three percent of people living in the United States said they'd read a print newspaper the day before. That's half the number who did so in 2000, when nearly 50 percent read a paper the day before. Twenty-nine percent reported reading a newspaper in any format.
The point is, though, is that newspapers, magazines and even the book publishing industry have been driving this change. They have been the ones to adapt to the times and offer online content. Rather than fighting online media, they have embraced it, and expanded their coverage. This is a fact that a lot of the statistics don't address.
So, admittedly, there may not be as many of you holding this newspaper in your hands as there were 20 or 30 years ago. But add the number of you that are reading this online, and the reality becomes clear.
Newspapers, print or online, remain a strong and viable presence in our society.
So let's celebrate National Newspaper Week, and the advances digital media has made in the newspaper industry as well.