Future of Newspapers

January 20, 2006 • Volume 16, Issue 3
Will print papers survive in an online world?
By Kenneth Jost

Introduction

Joe Carney sells newspapers at Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass. Newspapers are losing readers and ad revenues — partly due to free, online competition — and are being squeezed by rising production and delivery costs.  (Getty Images/Melanie Stetson Freeman)
Joe Carney sells newspapers at Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass. Newspapers are losing readers and ad revenues — partly due to free, online competition — and are being squeezed by rising production and delivery costs. (Getty Images/Melanie Stetson Freeman)

The nation's $59 billion newspaper industry is facing an uncertain future even while its biggest companies are enjoying enviable profits averaging around 20 percent. Newspaper circulation has been declining for many years, especially among young adults. Now, newspapers are losing readers and some advertising to the Internet. In fact, only 52 percent of adults read the paper on a typical weekday. Many newspapers are working on redesigns aimed at making their print editions more readable. Most also have created Web sites to deliver news and information, including special features and interactive options not included in the print product. But newspaper executives are struggling to incorporate their online editions into viable business plans. Meanwhile, slipping profit margins are resulting in layoffs at several of the major newspaper companies and opening up the country's second-largest — Knight Ridder — to a possible takeover.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Journalism, Newspapers, and the Media
Jun. 09, 2017  Trust in Media
May 30, 2014  Digital Journalism
May 03, 2013  Media Bias
Apr. 26, 2013  Free Speech at Risk
Apr. 12, 2013  Combat Journalism
Nov. 2010  Press Freedom
Oct. 08, 2010  Journalism Standards in the Internet Age
Feb. 05, 2010  Press Freedom
Mar. 27, 2009  Future of Journalism Updated
Jun. 09, 2006  Blog Explosion Updated
Jan. 20, 2006  Future of Newspapers
Apr. 08, 2005  Free-Press Disputes
Oct. 15, 2004  Media Bias
Oct. 10, 2003  Media Ownership Updated
Dec. 25, 1998  Journalism Under Fire
Jun. 05, 1998  Student Journalism
Sep. 20, 1996  Civic Journalism
Sep. 23, 1994  Courts and the Media
Aug. 24, 1990  Hard Times at the Nation's Newspapers
Jan. 19, 1990  Finding Truth in the Age of ‘Infotainment’
Aug. 18, 1989  Libel Law: Finding the Right Balance
Jun. 06, 1986  Magazine Trends
Oct. 12, 1984  News Media and Presidential Campaigns
Jul. 15, 1983  State of American Newspapers
Oct. 23, 1981  High Cost of Libel
Dec. 23, 1977  Media Reforms
Mar. 11, 1977  News Media Ownership
Jun. 21, 1974  Access to the Media
Dec. 20, 1972  Newsmen's Rights
Aug. 16, 1972  Blacks in the News Media
Dec. 15, 1971  Magazine Industry Shake-Out
Jul. 18, 1969  Competing Media
Sep. 02, 1964  Politicians and the Press
Dec. 04, 1963  Libel Suits and Press Freedom
Jan. 09, 1963  Newspaper Mergers
Dec. 20, 1961  Reading Boom: Books and Magazines
Dec. 02, 1959  Privileged Communications
Apr. 25, 1956  Newsprint Deficit
May 06, 1953  Government and the Press
Sep. 21, 1948  Press and State
Sep. 05, 1947  Newsprint Supply
Mar. 26, 1947  Facsimile Newspapers
Dec. 10, 1945  World Press Freedom
May 01, 1940  New Experiments in Newspaper-Making
Nov. 04, 1933  Press Freedom Under the Recovery Program
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Print Media