Internet and the Newspaper: An Unsure Future
7 October 2012
The newspaper has been a key piece of American society, providing news and information, since the first printing of the Boston News-Letter in 1704 (Postman, 2005). The newspaper has transformed over the years with the introduction of new technologies such as the telegraph, radio, and television. Although the newspaper has a history of transformation, the past decade has been a pivotal period of transformation that may leave the “traditional” newspaper non-existent. Much of this transformation is the result of the Internet’s impact on journalism. In a survey of international journalists, Fortunati and Sarrica (2011) reported that journalists rank the Internet as the single most relevant electronic medium to the future of the press. The Internet has spurred a radical change in print journalism by redefining newspapers and changing the American public’s interaction with the press.
Newspaper Format and Journalism Practices
The Internet has fostered an environment of endless information that is accessible 24/7 from nearly anywhere on Earth. At times, news about events is put over “the web” moments after occurring. This has had a profound impact on Americans’ reliance on the newspaper for information. Coady (2011), Fortunati and Sarrica (2011), Franklin (2008), and Postman (2005), all agree that this is not a new phenomenon, as print journalism has dealt with past transformations and competition from the telegraph, telephone, and television, but the current environment has shaken the press leaving “newspapers around the globe in a state of flux” (Franklin, 2008). Americans no longer need to hover over the morning paper at breakfast to make decisions about their day, when they can access the information quicker and easier on their computers. Tucker (2009) alludes to statistics showing that very few people under the age of 25 have ever read a newspaper and goes on to...