Newspapers are still with us, for a few more years. And, blessedly newspapers such as The Guardian have made free Internet access central to their mission (as discussed enthusiastly last week in The New Yorker).
So the newspaper industry staggers on -- for a while.
But this past weeked Andy Kohut for Pew Research not only tolled the bell for the end of newspapers, he also had a warning for the news industry itself, regardless of media configuration.
Notably, a 2012 Pew Research national poll found members of the Silent generation (67-84 years old) spending 84 minutes watching, reading or listening to the news the day before the survey interview. Boomers (48-66 years old), did not lag far behind (77 minutes), but Xers and Millennials spent much less time: 66 minutes and 46 minutes, respectively.
The truly troubling trend for the media is that Pew Research surveys give little indication that news consumption increases among members of the younger age groups as they get older. For example, in 2004 Xers reported following the news about as often as they did in 2012 (75 minutes versus 77 minutes). The eight-year trend for Millennials was equally flat (63 minutes versus 66 minutes).
...a critical factor that emerges from the surveys is that older people simply enjoy the news more than the young do. The Pew Research Center’s latest surveys find 58 percent of Silents and Boomers reporting they enjoy following the news a lot, compared to 45% of Xers and just 29 percent of Millennials. This generational difference has been consistently apparent in the surveys over the years.
The big question remains: Can mid-level papers find enough subsribers -- in print or on-line -- to stay alive?
Looking at these numbers for the younger generation, it's hard to believe. Even TV could be in trouble.