Young people on the future of newspapers

Last month I blogged about Sarkozy’s plans to give teenagers free subscriptions to French newspapers. In the US, a campaign was started to encourage people to buy newspapers in support of the flagging industry.


I’ve been told off here for stating that the newspaper industry doesn’t deserve to be bailed out but, in my defence, it’s not just me who holds this view.


Last week at a talk at London’s LSE Clay Shirky said: “The problems of newspapers are so much of their own making its hard to show an ounce of pity. The people who go down to see the government every day though, just to take a look and see if something is going on – the loss of that function is pretty big.”


Today’s Media Guardian asks young people around the world for their opinions on news consumption. The findings are diverse and revealing…

Boycott Buy a Newspaper Day

Don’t buy a newspaper, support online advertising instead!

2 February has set aside as Buy A Newspaper Day in the US.

Just last week, French president Nicholas Sarkozy announced a €600 million package to prop up France’s ailing newspaper industry.

The proposed measures include free newspaper subscription for 18 year-olds, paid partly by the government and partly by the publishers.

This is all utter madness! Why should taxpayers’ money be used to bailed out a flawed industry? What next? A bailout for porn too?

As one blogger wrote, in this split-second electronic communications age it can be argued that newspapers are relics from the “Stone Age” of news dissemination.

So rather than propping up a dead man walking, how about putting your pennies behind the potential offered by online journalism?

We’re not talking about the all-too prevalent rehashing of material that occurs on far too many news websites provide, but rather the sorts of publications that invest time, money and technology in creating original content, often in ground-breaking formats, online.

How can you make a difference? Support online advertising. Learn to love pop ups, click on links and sit through pre-rolls on videos.* You’re just one click away from making a difference!

*Other options are available

Even online advertising is doomed

In the second quarter of 2008, the online revenue of the Newspaper Association of America was down 2.4 per cent compared with last year, to $777 million.

This is the first year-over-year drop since the group began measuring online revenue in 2003.

Maybe it’s time to bail on the media game in the UK and start farming cocoa and nutmeg with my grandfather in the Caribbean!