Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Something to think about the next time you hear about a drop in movie attendance, or read about a decline in voting, or...

This distressing factoid was buried below the lede in a Bloomberg news report yesterday: “U.S. newspapers' daily circulation fell 30 percent to 43.7 million in September from 62.3 million in 1985...”

Now, of course, many of the lost readers may now be reading newspaper websites instead. Or they may be reading the sites operated by CNN, MSNBC, etc. Some, I am sure, no longer “read” news at all, but still listen to radio and/or watch TV newscasts. And, yes, of course, many have died.

But how many million have simply unplugged, tuned out or otherwise disengaged, and simply stopped giving a damn?

(And before anyone asks: Yes, I admit, I'm thinking a lot about such news about newspapers right now, since tomorrow marks the 12th anniversary of the closing of The Houston Post.)


Anonymous said...

not a very Happy anniversary for the Post and as you point out in the article, this new generation, which maybe coined the "Disengaged"

Sheila West said...

The internet seems to be sucking up EVERYTHING. Even shopping malls are dying off due to people ordering stuff only from the internet now.

My elderly mother cannot read newsprint anymore because it's too tiny, so she gets online subscriptions and super-magnifies her monitor display.

I myself am too busy and get all my news from the radio. That way I can multi-task by passively soaking up the news while driving or doing the dishes.

As for movie attendence being down, that distresses me because I do NOT want to see movie houses disappear from the landscape. But, like me and my radio news, people are too busy and would rather wait for the DVD and watch those must-see films at their convenience, or get it in their already-paid-for cable package.

Joe Leydon said...

If people aren't reading newspapers, then they're not reading about movies. Or at least they're not reading about the kinds of smaller, edgier and/or more challenging movies that don't open with huge ad campaigns, and rely on support from critics and feature writers. Remember: Not everyone reads (or even knows about) movie blogs. I'm convinced that the decline in newspaper readership has something to do with the audience drop-off for foreign-language films.