Reading Between the Lines

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Newspapers are a major part of medium which people assume is becoming less important as digital is slowly but sturdily becoming king. The print side of media is losing in many, many ways across the board. The one way which I would like to focus on is in terms of readership, especially in the young demographic of 18 to 24 years old.

The State of the News Media report for 2011 released its findings this past week, and for most, the numbers do not surprise many. While the lines are going downward on the graph as they move to the right, the concerns for print are increasing.

One-fourth of young adults read the newspaper on a daily basis, according to this study. In 2009, the percentage was slightly up at 27 percent, and in 2008, the amount of readership was at 31 percent. The two-year drop off in readership was the second smallest among demographic groups. (The smallest decline was in the 65+ age range with a two percent drop, respectively.)

Many young people read the newspaper online. According to findings by the Newspaper Association of America (which is separate from State of the News Media), of the 69 million people in the 18-34 range who claim to read the paper, 17.7 million of those say they read the current day’s paper online or hard copy. Almost 45 percent say young adults read the paper on a five-day consecutive basis.

Take these stats how you want it, but I’m still not concerned. These numbers are better than zero percent. Even though it may be a small portion, young adults do care about their newspapers. As a future newspaper writer, I would like to see these numbers a little bit higher. However, we as college media students who have a strong passion for newspapers as I do need to find a solution, and we need to find one fast.

Photo Credit: Fotopedia via Creative Commons


Unknown March 23, 2011 at 8:41 AM  

Some people still like to read the newspapers on their print version and that is a good news. I think those people will fight to keep their newspapers in the market, especially locally.

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