I always enjoy a good discussion when it comes to publishing. And nothing is more exciting than when I come across someone who’s point of view seems oddly slanted beyond reason. I ran across this list of 10 reasons why newspapers are of lasting value. (Full Disclosure: I work as an independent contractor for the same parent company). The article itself online is behind a pay wall, so if you want to read it, you have to pay up. Otherwise, I’d like to refute points 1-9 while agreeing with point 10. (By the way, I apologize for the tongue-sticking-out icon I stuck in the headline. It’s just that I couldn’t write that line without imagining a 10-year-old kid sticking his tongue out. Juvenile, I know.)
1. Newspapers are really old. And traditional.
Yes, print publishing has been around for hundreds of years, much of that time as the one and only way to communicate with the public. But just because something’s been around a long time doesn’t necessarily argue for its future. And just because something’s been around long enough to be a tradition, doesn’t mean we should all pay blind subservience to it, either. Take “traditional marriage” for instance. Traditionally, marriage was a social contract by which fathers sold their daughter’s hand for the best dowry, or to cement alliances between particular families. Somehow, I don’t think that method would work so well in the 21st century.
2. Newspapers are great for mass communicatin’
Sure, reaching tens or even hundreds of thousands of people in print was a great tool, for its time. But the internet allows for nearly infinite reach. And with none of those pesky production and distribution costs to bog things down. With a newspaper, you can only reach as many people as copies you print.
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