The Death of Newspapers Essay

Since the turn of the new century, newspapers have always been the main source of our news. For years, it started the day for millions. Along with a cup of coffee, maybe even some breakfast, the arrival of the morning paper meant the beginning to the daily grind. Nowadays the evening paper is long extinct, especially in large cities. With Internet so available to the masses and, for the most part, providing free news, the newspaper is no longer a necessity.

The newspaper becoming extinct is beneficial because it is more environmentally friendly, is more of a convenience, and has given voice to countless talented people who would otherwise have no platform. Lets take a look at the newspaper from an environmental point of view. Nearly four billion trees worldwide are cut down annually for paper alone, representing about thirty-five percent of all harvested trees (Lukenbill 1). Each person alone in the United States uses almost eight hundred pounds of paper per year that adds up to almost two hundred billion pounds per year for our entire population.

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World paper consumption has grown four hundred percent in the last forty years. With the newspaper industry consuming almost ten percent of all trees the downfall of newspapers would be very environmentally friendly (Lukenbill 2). The United States Toxic Release Inventory Report released by the EPA states that pulp and paper mills are among the worst polluters to air, water, and land of any industry in the country. Not only do the mills pollute but also distributing all the newspaper copies to newsstands and homes, then trucking them back to recycling center or landfills creates even more.

The end result, according to a 2006 report, sates newspaper sales account for almost sixteen percent of all carbon emissions (Koerner 1). Not only does the downfall of newspapers save trees but also creates less pollution. Some may try to argue the fact that the servers and desktops used to make online newspapers possible are on par with the pollution newspapers create. This would be true only if over sixty-five percent of all newspapers were recycled. Close to forty percent of newsprint comes from recycled material making this counterargument fictional (Koerner 1).

This isn’t just about pollution, though, and we know it. Our world today is about convenience. The sooner and the cheaper we can access anything, the better. Nowadays things are faster paced and people just don’t have the time or luxury to read over the newspaper. The number of people employed by the industry fell by eighteen percent between 1990 and 2004 (Weeks 1). The Internet provides outlets for anyone with an opinion, and the ability to have a voice is very attractive.

Blogging has also become a huge hit on the web scene, and with it, more opinions, leading readers to question authority and other “facts” of media. Most large-circulations papers have created strong websites. With advertising dollars providing more revenue, these online versions of the paper can attain extra readers, generate more talk, and lead to more hits and higher numbers. Young teenagers now don’t even remember a time without the Internet, and reading a newspaper would be something unheard of.

Going through a newspaper, while trying to find a relevant topic and ending up with ink all over your hands is much less appealing than typing in what you’re trying to find in a search engine and getting a thousand hits in less than a second. Also with the Internet there are websites such as Craig’s List or EBay arising, there is no longer a need to pay for an add in the newspaper when you can sell your item for free. We need to stop holding onto the past and let ourselves evolve into a more technological generation. So far, the Internet media revolution has been a huge net plus for journalism and blogging.

It has greatly increased the quantity and even the quality of available opinion and news. Trying to figure out the truth of a given subject means reading about it from as many perspectives as possible, and now with the Internet there are more perspectives accessible. The Internet has given voice to countless talented and informed people who would of otherwise have no platform. It has created a surplus of bloggers who provide fact checking and criticism of the press, and provides powerful counterarguments to many respectable medias (Kamiya 1).

Bloggers are often valuable reporters. Some bloggers have done significant research, reporting, and even digging through documents to unearth secrets. The newspaper has not always done a sufficient job of capturing reality. Too often hidden corporations and agendas have driven it. The press’s failure to question the Bush administration’s case for war in Iraq is the most glaring recent example (Kamiya 1). With the Internet we are able to address these problems as a whole instead of separate corporations controlling our media.

What appears in the newspapers is a result of editorial whim and financial pressures. This limited information is preferable to only a few self-selected individuals. The Internet allows people to vent their opinions and always expand on a certain topic. Some may argue that in a newspaper it is much easier to consume unfamiliar information than on the Internet, and it stimulates parts of our brain that would otherwise atrophy. The physical layout of a newspaper does make it easier to consume unfamiliar information, however online media is created to respond to our desires.

We want our information precise and quick and the Internet provides this for us. There has also been the statement that if newspaper reporting dies out, the global consequences would be dire. Little things would go under the radar; regimes would feel free to commit crime without consequences (Gapper 1). This is not true though, major reporting companies working for websites on the Internet such as Yahoo, CNN, or even FOX News have coverage of almost more than the newspaper.

The Internet gives readers what they need; newspapers are just redundant and wasteful. With the Internet becoming faster and more powerful every day the newspaper is beginning to decline in profit. Internet is now provided to the masses; almost all news can be accessed for free. This is beneficial because it is more environmentally friendly, is more of a convenience, and given voice to countless talented people who would otherwise have no platform. We need to stop holding onto the past, newspapers have died out and we need to embrace our new forms of media.


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