Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Why should newspapers bother when nobody is interested

There are a number of interesting things coming out of the latest social attitudes survey,the papers have latched onto the end of marriage.

More worrying for the medias industry is the fact that

Only 20% of graduates regularly read a quality newspaper, compared with 50% in 1986.
The decline of print readership has not been taken up by the internet. Among those who do not read a paper regularly, only 3% regularly consult a newspaper website

Roy Greenslade has a good piece over on his blog about the decline in interest in the news

According to the survey, a smaller proportion of each age group reads a paper than the generation before it, and each cohort is itself giving up newspapers. In 2006, 42% of 18 to 27-year-olds read a daily paper at least three days a week, against 72% in 1986. That's a giant drop.
But of that 72%, just 42% were still reading a daily paper 20 years on. In other words, newspapers are losing once-loyal readers, while attracting fewer new ones
and asks the question

Editors might also ponder whether what they publish day after day is really relevant

Last week I commented on a survey from America which suggested that youngsters are put off reading the news because they don't like what they hear.

These are worrying times,not just for journalists but for democracy.It is important that we are aware of what is happening in the world and be in a position to comment and to change it.Journalism is the catalyst for change


styles said...

Hello. I am a student and I stumbled across your blog on a class assignment. I am ashamed that my generation has no desire to know what's going on in the world. I live in a competitive environment where everyone thrives on personal achievement but there is little desire to learn about the happenings across the world.
It is frustrating because I am surrounded by so many brilliant people who are constantly uninterested in current events, that is, until Heath Ledger died. It is so tragic that Heath Ledger died, but also tragic that the young people at my prestigious university choose to be clueless about the real world unless it is entertainment related. Is that really why the 18- 24 year olds don’t read newspapers? Because they don’t like what they read? Oh come on, can they not face reality? I guess if you don’t have to think about it, then it doesn’t have to affect you. Ignorance is bliss? But don’t they understand? If they pay attention now, they could have the power to influence the future. It’s their generation! If they cared a little about what’s going on in the world then maybe they would be able to change it for the better. Do young adults need a motive more than that to read a newspaper? Or am I just na├»ve? I would like to think not, but now that I think about it, I grew up surrounded by current events, and now I intern in the news business. I liked it all along… So maybe it’s their parent’s faults, maybe nobody pushed these kids to care about the real world, no one told them to read the paper. How are they supposed to know if their influences didn’t read the paper either?

Nigel Barlow said...

Thanks for the comment.

I entirely agree with your sentiments.i think that if you read this blog,you will see numerous examples of the dis interest in current affairs not only of the younger generation but also of my generation.What is the problem.I have some theories,I think that people are switched off by cuurent politics,that is partly the fault of the establishment.

In terms of younger people,I certainly see one of the reasons is the endless testing and examination thru schools.In my day( that makes me sound old) you were allowed a certain degree of free thought,I don't think that happens now.I see it manifest itself on our course,students come to life when it is assignment time but switch off when the topics are not relevent to the assignment.
As you say,people are unintersted in current events yet ther is a lot of important developments going on not just in this counntry but abroad which will affect our lives.