The Fate of Newspapers

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The Fate of Newspapers

Postby astasia » Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:19 am

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... =102162128

I'm not sure if anyone else is a political or current events junkie, like I am. I am in mad love with NPR, and I read newspapers, news magazines, and internet news sites (I abstain from television news - I cannot properly express my disdain/distaste for it).

I like having my physical copies of newspapers. I like being able to touch the paper, in the same way I like having physical books. Thus, my first, visceral reaction to the more and more frequent reports of the downfall of the newspaper is one of outrage. How dare people be so stupid, so lazy, to not buy and read newspapers? Don't they know how important it is?

But, I have to wonder, is this simply a conservative reaction against change? Technically, isn't moving to online mediums more eco-friendly (which I support, anyhow)? Is there truly a difference between the way one reads and interacts with text online and text on paper?

Does no one else really care - aside from me and news journalists who are wishing they started a political blog before everyone and their cat had?

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Re: The Fate of Newspapers

Postby smiley_cow » Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:10 am

I get most of my news either online or on the radio and I find I'm a lot more informed then most of the people I do whose primary source is the newspaper. Though this may mostly have to do with the fact that our local newspaper rarely, if ever, reports on anything going on nationally or internationally. So maybe my opinion is a little bias, but if newspapers disappeared tomorrow I wouldn't shed a tear.

I try to watch televised news too whenever I can, by which I mean The National if I'm up and not doing other things. I have nothing but disdain for 24 hour news networks, even CBC which is much more professional than it's American counterparts doesn't strike me as particularly useful unless there's some major even which happens to be going on right now (I admit to watching it last time the Queen visited. I love her hats)
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Re: The Fate of Newspapers

Postby Oldrac the Chitinous » Sun Mar 22, 2009 3:52 am

I am also a radio-slash-internet type person, but all these papers folding (heh heh) is still bad news where I'm concerned.
By itself, I don't have any particular problem with moving away from print newspapers; This seems like exactly the sort of thing the internet is best suited for. But the papers aren't just being transplanted from one format to another. They're discarding columns and firing reporters, until all that's left is a few stories regurgitated from the wire services. That I am less pleased about. On top of putting a whole bunch of people out of work, it's homogenizing the information that people have access to. That is exactly the opposite of what the internet is supposed to do. I'm sure much of it is just the same downsizing everyone's going through right now, but I also don't expect the papers to put back what they've cut when the economy turns around.
And of course, there are still people out there that don't have computers. I don't know what they're going to do.
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Re: The Fate of Newspapers

Postby smiley_cow » Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:12 am

That's a fair argument. It's just all the papers that would apply to me are either our local paper, which is a rather sad little thing that probably should be put out of its misery, or national papers like the National Post that The Globe and Mail which pretty much go "Toronto, Toronto, Toronto, Toronto, something else relating just to Ontarians, oh yeah Toronto." It will snow in Toronto when Manitoba is in the -40's and Toronto will get the front page with not a mention of Manitoba. Newspapers themselves are good things, and given the choice I would prefer not to see them go under, it's just the ones that apply to me really... well don't.
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Re: The Fate of Newspapers

Postby LordRetard » Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:42 am

I have no interest in the news. I do not apologise for this at all. I don't know what to say except that in my day-to-day life, the workings of Important People have very little effect, or have yet to affect me. I can understand why people would want to read a newspaper, though, and I think people should be reading more anything, in general, which is why I dislike the thought of stopping newspapers when the Internet is only one medium.
smiley_cow wrote:That's a fair argument. It's just all the papers that would apply to me are either our local paper, which is a rather sad little thing that probably should be put out of its misery, or national papers like the National Post that The Globe and Mail which pretty much go "Toronto, Toronto, Toronto, Toronto, something else relating just to Ontarians, oh yeah Toronto." It will snow in Toronto when Manitoba is in the -40's and Toronto will get the front page with not a mention of Manitoba. Newspapers themselves are good things, and given the choice I would prefer not to see them go under, it's just the ones that apply to me really... well don't.

Yeah, in Toronto there are newspapers everywhere, for everything, and every neighbourhood has a few papers and the schools put out a TON of papers. I work at a library so cleaning up newspapers is a big thing (a lot of them are foreign papers too, from the neighbourhood; it's a madhouse!). Really, it's to be expected; there are a LOT of people here. I wonder if there's any room for a provincial-level paper, something like The Manitoban, which I believe would have much more focus than the national papers that focus on Toronto, and would be large enough to pool the resources of the entire province.
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Re: The Fate of Newspapers

Postby smiley_cow » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:05 am

LordRetard wrote:Yeah, in Toronto there are newspapers everywhere, for everything, and every neighbourhood has a few papers and the schools put out a TON of papers. I work at a library so cleaning up newspapers is a big thing (a lot of them are foreign papers too, from the neighbourhood; it's a madhouse!). Really, it's to be expected; there are a LOT of people here. I wonder if there's any room for a provincial-level paper, something like The Manitoban, which I believe would have much more focus than the national papers that focus on Toronto, and would be large enough to pool the resources of the entire province.


Actually The Manitoban is already the student newspaper at the University of Manitoba. The closest we have to a provincial paper is the Winnipeg Free Press which talks about provincial politics whenever it's relevant, but otherwise pretty much focuses on Winnipeg. Actually a provincial newspaper, or actually any kind of provincial news that actually focused on all of Manitoba instead of just Winnipeg would be pretty sweet! I think it would actually do very well too, considering that about half of Manitobans live outside Winnipeg and have no decent source for local news. But I think the reason this doesn't exist is because once you leave Winnipeg we're all pretty spread out, so it would be pretty tricky to do. Sure would be nice though...

Edit: see post below.
Last edited by smiley_cow on Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Fate of Newspapers

Postby LordRetard » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:12 am

smiley_cow wrote:about half of Manitobans live outside Manitoba

Caught it.
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Re: The Fate of Newspapers

Postby smiley_cow » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:16 am

Dammit! Half of Manitobans live outside Winnipeg I mean. *Grumble* now I gotta go edit my post, one in the morning I should be in bed *grumble*
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Re: The Fate of Newspapers

Postby astasia » Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:23 pm

Oldrac the Chitinous wrote:I am also a radio-slash-internet type person, but all these papers folding (heh heh) is still bad news where I'm concerned.
By itself, I don't have any particular problem with moving away from print newspapers; This seems like exactly the sort of thing the internet is best suited for. But the papers aren't just being transplanted from one format to another. They're discarding columns and firing reporters, until all that's left is a few stories regurgitated from the wire services. That I am less pleased about. On top of putting a whole bunch of people out of work, it's homogenizing the information that people have access to. That is exactly the opposite of what the internet is supposed to do. I'm sure much of it is just the same downsizing everyone's going through right now, but I also don't expect the papers to put back what they've cut when the economy turns around.
And of course, there are still people out there that don't have computers. I don't know what they're going to do.


I think that's important to note, as well.

Technically, there are all sorts of political and news blogs around, but, I think you're right that we are, generally, getting information from fewer sources, and that really is a problem.

smiley_cow wrote:That's a fair argument. It's just all the papers that would apply to me are either our local paper, which is a rather sad little thing that probably should be put out of its misery, or national papers like the National Post that The Globe and Mail which pretty much go "Toronto, Toronto, Toronto, Toronto, something else relating just to Ontarians, oh yeah Toronto." It will snow in Toronto when Manitoba is in the -40's and Toronto will get the front page with not a mention of Manitoba. Newspapers themselves are good things, and given the choice I would prefer not to see them go under, it's just the ones that apply to me really... well don't.


I lived in Toronto for two years and I miss the Toronto Star. It for sure was Toronto-centric, but, I felt it also did an excellent job on national and international coverage.

Are there not any local papers? I also get a variety of small town, local papers (some that print weekly or once every two weeks) which, while they contain a lot of meaningless items (events going on at the public library for this week!), they do keep me up-to-date on town politics.
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Re: The Fate of Newspapers

Postby smiley_cow » Sun Mar 22, 2009 4:49 pm

astasia wrote:I lived in Toronto for two years and I miss the Toronto Star. It for sure was Toronto-centric, but, I felt it also did an excellent job on national and international coverage.


As far as I'm concerned there's nothing wrong with a paper designed for Toronto focusing on Toronto. The Globe and Mail and the National Post annoy me because they're supposed to be national papers, but really they forget that the country extends past the Ontario borders.

Are there not any local papers? I also get a variety of small town, local papers (some that print weekly or once every two weeks) which, while they contain a lot of meaningless items (events going on at the public library for this week!), they do keep me up-to-date on town politics.



We have one. I personally don't like it because the articles are generally poorly written, and it conveniently forgets to report on most national news that makes the Conservatives look bad. It does report on local things happening, but generally its coverage is uneven or it leaves out information, which can be rather frustrating.
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Re: The Fate of Newspapers

Postby Lethal Interjection » Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:03 pm

There are local papers, but they are usually fluff journalism and mostly crap. I live in Hamilton, and the Spectator is kind of like the Toronto Star, but with an increased interest in local news, and it tends not to be the fluff journalism that so many local papers have. I also love the Star.
I do tend to get most of my news from the internet, mostly because I have the same loathing for TV news that you do, astasia. I also hate internet news, though. But I don't have any subscriptions to newspapers (mostly because I don't have what I would call a permanent job, and therefore I'm never sure how permanent my residency will be), so it is the only way I can really keep up to speed.
The decline of print media definitely worries me. The idea of a day without print news scares me. And the idea of applications that allow you to read books on your handheld devices scares me even more. Not that I think that books will phase out, I just don't understand how anyone would want to read a book that way. I like the visceral experience that comes with reading. I wouldn't give that up, ever.
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Re: The Fate of Newspapers

Postby mountainmage » Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:26 pm

smiley_cow wrote:about half of Manitobans live outside Manitoba


Manitoba is so shitty, even Manitobans(sp?) don't want to live there?
Sorry, it was so easy I had to say it.

Also, I get the New York Times for free on campus, otherwise I wouldn't even read newspapers. Why should I pay money to read news I can easily get online? Although I use it mostly for the crossword puzzle and KenKen.
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Re: The Fate of Newspapers

Postby smiley_cow » Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:50 pm

mountainmage wrote:Manitoba is so shitty, even Manitobans(sp?) don't want to live there?
Sorry, it was so easy I had to say it.


We're not all bad, we have a lot of lakes, and um... bison and well... SHUT UP!

We could be cool if we wanted to, we just don't want to make the other provinces and states feel insecure is all.
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Re: The Fate of Newspapers

Postby Oldrac the Chitinous » Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:52 pm

Bison?
I'm sold.
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Re: The Fate of Newspapers

Postby mountainmage » Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:53 pm

I heard bison burgers are really good. I would so try one. Then again, some of my fellow Floridians think gator is good, and I wouldn't try that.
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