It’s crazy to think how much the media we take in has changed just throughout the course of the last couple decades. The internet has become such a massive force that has pushed many different formats to the wayside. Whether we are talking about music, news, sports, or celebrity gossip, I’d say most people rely on the internet (or social media much rather) to acquire their updates. I would also dare to say that newspapers may be at the end of their relevance. Sure, many people still use them today, and I’m sure they will never actually go away completely. However, if we look at the numbers, newspaper sales have been on a steady decline since around the 1990’s.
“The estimated total U.S. daily newspaper circulation (print and digital combined) in 2018 was 28.6 million for weekday and 30.8 million for Sunday, down 8% and 9%, respectively, from the previous year. Weekday print circulation decreased 12% and Sunday print circulation decreased 13%.” (Pew Research Center, July, 9 2019) To put these numbers into perspective, newspaper circulation topped out around 1990 with about 62.6 million Sunday consumers.
Moving on, I don’t see some aspects like broadcasting ever going away. Many people can’t sit there on their phone or computer all day and keep up with whatever the latest post is, so many still rely on radio news updates to keep them informed throughout the day. Not to mention the important functions they also serve providing weather updates, amber alerts, and other public service announcements.
Tackling the bottom line: I don’t believe we will see much of a change in the functions even though we are seeing a change in the delivery system. News outlets have seemed to adapt to the internet pretty well by utilizing social media and live streaming in lieu of newspapers and TV broadcasts.
Pew Research Center. (July, 9 2019). Newspapers Fact Sheet. Pew Research Center: Journalism & Media, https://www.journalism.org/fact-sheet/newspapers/#:~:text=The%20estimated%20total%20U.S.%20daily,Sunday%20print%20circulation%20decreased%2013%25.