Are Newspapers Of Any Value InThe Digital Age?

I hope that you enjoy reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where six of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic was chosen by Shackman. The five other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, gaelikaa, Maxi, Paul, Shackman, and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!

That is how I always start or finish my LBC posts and this time around, I am posting after due date. I was away from base on a very pleasant Pongal vacation touching base with my family in Chennai and introducing my daughter in law to them too. I simply did not have the time to post from there using a digital device that I did carry with me and with which I could have written the post. I offer my apologies to my fellow LBC bloggers and my regular readers a couple of who wrote separately to ask if I am alright! Thank you. I am in great shape and fully recovered from excess family hospitality.
man-reading-newspaper

To answer this question, I must share some of my life style with my readers. I live a retired person’s life and have created a comfort zone in my home with comfortable sitting and sleeping places with all accessories near at hand. It makes me quite lazy and reluctant to get up and be active unless it is for something that I am habituated to. Among the daily routines that I follow is the reading of four news papers, two of general news and two of business and economics. After I finish reading them, I solve all the crossword puzzles in them and get up for coffee around mid forenoon only after I finish that routine.

I have tried to solve crossword puzzles online and did not like the experience. Doing it using a newspaper is far more satisfying. I do read news online but there too I find the experience less satisfying than reading hard copies.

So, for me personally news papers offer much more value than digital devices. In India, the newspaper business is a growth business with many regional and local newspapers appearing and flourishing regularly. This happens side by side by with TV news channels and it is expected that FM radio will also soon debut with news channels.

In India I think that the newspaper business does have value and prospects at least for the next decade or so.

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35 Responses to Are Newspapers Of Any Value InThe Digital Age?

  1. Nandu Pillai says:

    Sadly very few papers make money . TOI which has the largest English language newspaper circulation also loses money despite about 30 % – sometimes more – of its paper carrying ads ( they have changed their business definition to “ad carriers” ) . I am told that the cost of reaching a newspaper to a household in Bangalore is Rs 12 per copy ! Not sure how long they can go on and no wonder that content can be vulnerable to advertisers “pressure” ( from Govt and/or industry ) ! But like you I like to feel the rustle of a newspaper in my hands in the mornings .. and so does my wife who is also a crossword addict !

    • If they are failing, why are they still in business? I think that it is a lot of hype in Indian conditions. It may be true in the West but certainly not in India.

  2. nick says:

    Not sure if this means actual newspapers as opposed to the online version, or just newspapers in general. However, I much prefer reading actual newspapers as it’s so much easier to flip through the pages and articles without all the laborious online clicking and navigating. But I do have a quick look at online newspapers if there’s a particular story I want to find more details of. And as for newspapers in general – well, how else would we know what’s going on in the world?
    nick recently posted..Bring it on

  3. Mike says:

    In my experience, newspapers offer little that I can’t get online. We subscribed to our local small town paper for many years, but, after a while, it seemed it only took a few minutes to go through it and, even then, there was little worth reading. There are a couple of local online news sources that provide most of the local news that we’re interested in at no cost. Ironically, one of the sites is that of the local paper we stopped subscribing too.

    Another drawback to the local and state newspapers is that national and international news is stale by the time it gets in print compared to online news sources. For example, I was reading the first articles on the New Zealand North Island earthquake last night within an hour of it’s occurrence.

    If I have the time, I’ll read the news online. I also use my smartphone where I have aps for BBC, LA Times, Washington Post and a couple of others.
    Mike recently posted..Eyes of the Great Depression 127.

    • Compared to a lot of us, you are more “with it” and I am not surprised that you prefer the digital versions. Particularly with all the traveling that you do, it must be easier too.

  4. tammyj says:

    yesterday i was about to be the third person to email and ask if you are well !!!
    then i saw your comment on monk’s post. i was happy.
    i love your routine! and it’s amazing is it not… how lovely just living with simple little routines like that make life beautiful? mine too. though i do not work crosswords.
    i am wondering if you let the milk boil over onto your own stove at home? !!! i have always hated when that sometimes happens!
    i will now look at it differently. and i will call out “pongalo pangol!”
    tammyj recently posted..hark!

    • On pongal day, I was at my brother Arvind’s place and my sister in law did let the milk boil over and also cooked the pongal and with their grand sons aged 6 and 4, we all shouted pongalo pongal and celebrated the festival. We moved on to our sister’s place where the other brother Barath was staying and had lunch, once again a feast. It was grand alright.

  5. We get the Wall Street Journal, The Economist (they call themselves a newspaper rather than a magazine) and our local newspaper, which is outrageously priced for the little we get. I look through the print version of the Wall Street Journal, and if I see an article I want to read I read it online. Because of my eye problems I find it easier to read on a computer screen than in print. I do the same with The Economist. I also read the daily headlines from the Washington Post and the New York Times and click on the articles that interest me the most.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Coffee Shops

  6. Keith says:

    Well it is pretty hard I should imagine to wipe your backside with a computer. On the other hand, between the glossy pages & the introduction of staples in newspapers, it can be a real pain in the…….rear!!!
    Keith.

    • Keith, now that is a remarkable insight into the unmentioned use of newspapers! But one that makes eminent sense considering that it comes from a blue blood woodsman.

  7. Delirious says:

    I love the tactile experience of the newspaper, and also of “snail mail”. I think there will come a day when they are both phased out, but I hate to see that day.
    Delirious recently posted..Oh the Things That You See

  8. Looney says:

    This reminds me of when I was a young teenager. It was common to deliver newspapers to earn a bit of pocket change. There is nothing like getting up at 5am on a cold winter morning to deliver papers on your bicycle. So how do your newspapers come your way?

    • My newspapers are delivered to me every morning by a young man who comes on a motorcycle. He delivers to many apartment blocks before he goes off to his regular job.

  9. Ursula says:

    It’s not an either/or. Side by side.

    I like the physical side of paper. Hugely important to me. But since I have to read tonnes by nature of my bread and butter it would be nay impossible to do so turning pages. In fact, it would drive me insane. Even I know when too much is too much.

    Unlike you I haven’t yet reached the age of doing crosswords. And probably never will. I’d rather not test my powers of recollection. Might be in for a big disappointment.

    In other news: Fog, dense, has descended on where I live. Eerie. Perfect to commit murder.

    U
    Ursula recently posted..Lace

  10. Big John says:

    I do read on-line newspapers on most days, but I wouldn’t miss my daily routine, which includes an hour or two, after breakfast, sitting in my comfortable armchair, enjoying a strong cup of coffee and muttering about some the rubbish that so-called journalists are paid to write ! 🙂
    Big John recently posted..Will ‘Beef Wellington’ be on the menu ?

  11. wisewebwoman says:

    I see the print newspaper business fading here, the size shrinking, the reportage poorly put together. I do believe they only have themselves to blame. I had suggested to our daily many years ago they focus on more in depth and personal – more in a magazine format as the web was providing all the headlines and more. They never listen until it is too late.
    XO
    WWW
    wisewebwoman recently posted..Mmmmmmmm

  12. Grannymar says:

    How many times do you read the same news item? 😉
    Grannymar recently posted..Sunday One Liners ~ 13

  13. Pravin says:

    Welcome back uncleji, now I can bother you with my questions and opinions 😉 jokes apart, what is the business model of News Papers and source of income to the marginal journalists. Take an example I like The Hindu but end up reading Times of India (News kam advertisments jyada). Now I have moved largely to online news (that interests me) rather than everything what a news paper serves me. As Nandu uncleji says – very few (if any) are making money. I heard the same about ToI in Indore about 10 years back -cost of reaching ToI in Indore (at home) was about 12-15 INR.

    One crosswords and other puzzles – why dont you try buying a puzzle/crossword book. Hope that would be fun too. I did SudoKu (for that I used to buy DNA in Mumbai, it had two sudokus one numeric and other alphabet. Remember I hardly used to read news in that paper :D) Stopped buying (how can I write reading ;)) that later. Now I have Sudoku in my Mobile (hardly get time to play on that though).

    If I answer the question of title of the blog I would first try to understand meaning of Value of a news paper (either digital or print). As historically we say – history is written by the winners.. In my opinion, now a days News is made by those who have money and can throw money to the publishers. Value of Digital / Print is function of how accurate information we get in whatever AGE? I think I should join you all in LBC

    • Old habits die hard Pravin. If ever the newspapers die, I suppose I will switch to books with crossword puzzles. I find sudoku too easy. Information of all sorts was drummed as being necessary to broaden one’s horizons as it were, in my misspent youth. That was the value for newspapers and I suppose it continues to be today too.

  14. Mitali says:

    They are. And the use of the internet is environmentally harmful, so not cutting trees to make paper but sending all documents via email is not really better.

  15. Cathy in NZ says:

    I used to faithfully read the daily NZ paper – in hardcopy. I had it delivered because during the years of my marriage, my ex-DH bought the copy on the way to work and was supposed to bring it all home! Often bits were missing and much of time the crosswords were done, and crumbs fell out of the pages…

    So when I was single I indulged. I loved it until I started the Internet and found I could more or less read everything I wanted online…I didn’t have to have the large sections of car sales, or houses, or employment which I didn’t need…

    But whilst I had it delivered it was great – even if a flatmate was in situ I had first dibs at it…
    Cathy in NZ recently posted..Sea Creature caught in NZ

    • Yes, since selling newspapers is now uneconomic, the advertising revenue is what sustains them and the volume is usually more than the news content. That is indeed an irritating side issue.

  16. Mitali says:

    your question: do they have value; my answer, yes. And i further added that though the general consensus is that less use of paper is better for the environment, the internet is actually damaging to the environment. Here is one article:
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/aug/12/carbon-footprint-internet
    What couldn’t you understand? Just further supporting newspapers

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