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Three Evident Reasons Newspapers are Nearing Extinction

Updated on April 30, 2017

Newspapers, as we know them, will be extinct across the globe by 2040 according to The Future Exploration Network’s research. Print newspapers are nearing extinction for a variety of reasons on global and national levels. According to Susan Gunelius, author and CEO of a marketing communications company, many factors of this include: increased technology adoption, accessibility and affordability, and competition and labour.

During 2015, weekday newspaper circulation fell 7% and Sunday circulation fell 4%, both showing their greatest declines since 2010 according to journalism.org. Along with this the newspaper workforce has shrunk by about 20,000 positions, or 39%, in the last 20 years as well as three newspapers companies - E.W. Scripps, Journal Communications, and Gannett - are now one due to merging in the industry as stated by Pew Research Center. According to Michael Barthel, the industry continues to shrink with Editor and Publisher’s DataBook listing 126 fewer daily papers in 2014 than in 2004.

First, the decline of newspapers began with increased technology adoption. While newspapers roots are in the 1600s, they grew in the United States well into the 20th century. According to author and editor Ryan Thomas, with the rise of radio and TV, the number of newspaper copies sold began to gradually and steadily decline. By the mid-20th century, people did not rely on newspapers as their only source of news any longer.

The internet is also responsible for many newspaper deaths according to listverse.com. With the internet, people no longer need face to face interaction or the ability to even leave their house to retrieve news. News can be broadcasted the second it takes place, or at least as long it takes for a witness to type and publish it online, which is only seconds. There are very few advantages of current newspapers.

Next, labour plays an important role in the decline of newspapers since everyone is interested in new horizons of job opportunities while leaving behind the traditional and dull type of work. As stated in the article, “Top 10 Reasons for the Decline of Print Journalism”, many printing press companies have been shut down due to this significant problem. The distribution area is the most affected by the labour shortage. Although the crisis is not solved, things are under control.

Along with labour comes competition. In order to maintain competition, leading companies support each other on economic grounds. Competition should encourage improvement, but that is not what is taking place in the field of print journalism. Highly arguable topics and inaccurate content for politicians are the end results of this competition also stated by intelligent and well informed author Sarannya.

Lastly, accessibility and affordability are large causes for the dwindle of newspapers. The instantly available segments of news through a variety of media have proposed a threat to newspapers. The price of newspapers have increased by 50 cents or more over the years causing many people to rely on convenient and appropriate alternative sources to stay informed of news events according to Sarannya. Accessibility becomes an issue in numerous situations such as traveling or when there is not immediate access to the newspapers.

The largest source of funding for newspapers are advertisements. The newspaper field faces a loss when there is no marketing cause. If there is a spike in the price of paper, there is an unfavorable response from the public. People switching to alternative sources of news have generated a disturbing setback to the newspaper industry. As stated in the article, “Top 10 Reasons for the Decline of Print Journalism” from the informative website of listcrux.co, there are many journalists pursuing their dream job with the low-status pay they receive however, this is not the case for major newspapers.

All in all, newspapers are quickly nearing extinction year by year. Many people are unaware of this topic and how they are contributing to this cause as well. Increased technology adoption if destroying print newspapers because the majority of the population is engaged in technology today rather than print journalism. Another reason for this decline is work. People are always interested in the advancements of labour causing them to leave behind traditional work such as print newspapers. Lastly, accessibility is a major concern for the future of print newspapers. There is an instant availability of news through the internet and social media and not so much accessibility to newspapers which proposes large threat. Will a future without print newspapers impact the population negatively?



Barthel, Michael. "Newspapers: Fact Sheet."Pew Research Center's Journalism Project. N.p., 15 June 2016. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

Sarannya. "Top 10 Reasons for the Decline of Print Journalism." ListCrux. N.p., 30 June 2014. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

"When Will Newspapers Become Extinct?"ACI. N.p., 29 Aug. 2014. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

"Top 10 Reasons the Newspaper is Dying."Listverse. N.p., 17 June 2014. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

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