Does Paying for or Preserving Newspapers Really Make Sense?

2 minute read
Marisa Peacock avatar

Would you pay for your newspaper online? Probably not your average teen, who doesn't seem to even know what a newspaper is. If they don't read them now is there really a need to preserve their content for the future?

Teen's Don't Read Newspapers

What’s a newspaper? According to a recent presentation by Jeffrey Cole, the director of the Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California Annenberg School, that may be the question some teenagers may be asking. A majority of teenagers get their news and information from online sources and not from newspapers.

Though they don't read newspapers, teens are active social media users and have shown their constant thirst for any and all details about their peers' lives, which may mean that will stay connected to communities, be it online or otherwise.

Preserving Newspaper’s History

The International Federation of Library Association's (IFLA) hosted a three-day conference, which focused on digital preservation and access to news and views. Though archiving newspapers can be a cost-intensive process requiring constant technological upgrades, the delegates, representing leading national libraries and newspaper libraries and archives from all over the world, agreed that preserving digital content should be a priority.

As well, participants also recommended that newspapers libraries, archives and other public libraries and national institutions, should collaborate effectively to share their experiences and expertise.

Learning Opportunities

Making Newspaper More Like Airlines

In a recent Forbes.com article, Brett Gordon likened the plight of online newspapers’ to implement a pay wall to the way that airlines have instituted fees associated with checked bags. Because we all love airlines that charge for extra bags, right? Their argument goes like this:

Coordination problems occur when two or more parties can realize mutual gains by making the right set of decisions, but everyone may be worse off if the group fails to coordinate.

In other words, airlines started charging for bags because the rising cost of fuel prices sent them scrambling for survival -- much the same way newspapers find themselves gasping for air (and revenue).

Yet, what Forbes fails to recognize is the choice that readers have when it comes to online news. There are very few airlines from which to select and all of them rely on Bernouli’s Principle in order to take flight. Yet there are many different ways to get news and there is more than one model that newspapers can follow.

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