Is there any hope for the future of newspapers?

Wall Street Journal on the decline of newspapers, and why the Internet is not to blame.

The news about newspapers could hardly be more dismal: falling circulation, repeated rounds of layoffs, disappearing ads and a chain of bad earning reports. It’s an unsavory stew of ills, one that shows little prospect of becoming more appetizing.

The time that Americans spend reading newspapers has been dropping steadily (now down to 15 hours a month), with scant evidence that quality Internet time is taking its place.

Most fundamental is whether the public is still interested in news (as opposed to entertainment, gossip or lifestyle info). More than fearing the death of newspapers–they will struggle on–we ought to fear what changing reading and viewing habits are forcing newspapers to think of as news.

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