Natural Selection Strikes the Printed Word
"At some point soon--sooner than most of us think--the print edition, and with it The Times as we know it, will no longer exist." - (Hirschorn, "End Times")
It's times like these (no pun intended) that show how truly impermanent everything is. I've always taken the existence of newspapers - and all other print - completely for granted, never once thinking that the wild frontier of the Internet could be the bane of print's existence. Frankly, I'm shocked that it is even possible that "several cities could go without a daily print newspaper by 2010."
I was completely unaware that this was even happening - and for how long. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's circulation declined at an average of 7.5% in a six-month period, and that item was from an article in 2006.
The loss of printed journalism, although a bummer, is not too heart-breaking for me. I'm not a journalism major, I'm in creative writing. Is the Internet strangling the printed art as well? The most recent figures show that book sales declined 20%, but the finger is pointed at the economy, not the Internet. The most relevant article, although dated, implies that the Internet boosts the sales of books rather than being a hindrance (although I'm sure Dictionary.com is killing dictionary sales).
With all that being said, this doesn't spell doom for journalism as a whole. These aren't end times, but rather changing times. Printed newspapers may die off, but journalism will live on electronically. Those in the "newspaper business" have an ultimatum: Evolve, adapt, or die.
Consider it the "journalism business."