Some 20 years ago news information was transmitted to the public via one of two sources the TV or newspaper. If you are old enough to remember the Archie Bunker image of man coming home, sitting in his chair and reading the paper, you’re old enough to know that scenario is rapidly disappearing.
U.S. newspapers are at an all-time low in terms of overall readership and subscribers. That readership decline is once of many factors contributing to print’s slumping revenues, according to Amy Mitchel, Pew’s journalism research director, lead author of its closely-watched State of the News Media 2015 report.
“Financially,” wrote Mitchel, summarizing the print media woes, “the newspaper industry continues to be hard-hit.”
Where then does that leave news access?
For some “24 million,” folks the TV is still their go to for news.” The stat refers to the growing Network-produced evening news programming, which Pew’s figures show rose 5 percent over the previous year
“Local TV continues to capture broadcast viewers,” Mitchel noted, “with slight increases for evening (3%) and morning (2%) newscasts and larger ones for early morning and midday in 2014.”
For me, I gather news from many sources, preferably familiar.
I am a creature who has a hard time moving into the 21st century. I hold on to my love of paper. The smell of the ink. The smudges adorning my fingertips.
Turning pages lets me trick myself into believing I still live in less technology-saturated times
As a journalist, I realize that breaking free of technology’s loop places me miles behind the pack. I rectify this by purchasing and consuming the Sunday paper each week. In between, I attempt to digest as much other media.
Though a long denier of Facebook, I eventually saw the light. I, too, have “liked” many news sites and don’t mind the dinging of my phone signaling something newsy.
I gather news from several websites such as Yahoo. For for smut related articles, think Dear Abby! I turn to BBC, as I am a foreigner after all, and Vice News, for what I would consider pertinent, minimally-biased, news.
I click on links, too, as I traverse my daily news intake. Anything from gruesome pictures in history to adorable fluffy bunny plays peek-a-boo may find a room in my net-surfing repertoire.
The downfall of these eclectic choices is the effect of data collected by others. That becomes apparent when I see ads in the corners of my screen showcasing recent wish-list items at Amazon.
The trend among millennials seems to be ever-more technology based.
And why not, really? For most have never known a world without near-instantaneous access.
“About six-in-ten online Millennials (61%) report getting political news on Facebook in a given week,” according to the findings of another study published in Pew’s 2015 report: ”How Millennials’ political news habits differ from those of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.”
We are in a rat race. People have always wanted answers. Gen Xer’s differ in their networked expectations for instant results, which in turn spur more idle questions.
Technology disconnects us from ourselves and others, eating away time if you let it.
For more see: State of the News Media 2015