Why technology hasn't killed the newspaper

News today is not much different than news 100 years ago, however the methods and speed at which news is published has changed dramatically. Today, news is almost instant. When the tsunami hit South Eastern Asia in 2004, killing 200,000+ people, cell phone users were sending text message warnings to people in other countries that the tsunami had not reached yet. They were even texting people inland informing them to run because the water is coming. Pictures and videos taken by people with their cell phones and camcorders started hitting the Internet within hours; even before any of the big news stations had anything to report. I saw videos and pictures on the Internet that were "breaking news" the following day on CNN.

Technology has given us the ability to publish news almost instantly, allowing us to read up-to-the-minute news online. However the newspaper will be around for a long time. Why? Because people don't have easy-to-read access to news when they're in the train, on the subway, on a plane, and for some, when they're at home. I see the same newspaper get passed around amongst half a dozen people on the train. People leave it on the seat to give the next passenger something to read; and to curb boredom, satisfy their curiosity, or just catch up on recent news, people will pick up the paper and browse through it; even if it's a day or two old.

Sure, people can read the news on their cell phones, but how many people actually do that? The screens are too small, network connectivity isn't perfect (especially when traveling), and its just easier to pick up a paper or magazine. Until the technology exists to create very readable, large, light weight, roll up screens that are built into cell phones, people will continue reading the newspaper and glancing through magazines. Am I saying this a bad thing? No, it's just an observation I made today on the train into work. So I grabbed my laptop and wrote this post! 🙂

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  1. I still request store catalogs when given the chance…. much easier to read the magazine on the toilet than to take a computer with ya…. 🙂