A week after The Independent became the first national newspaper to move to a purely digital platform, the Trinity Mirror Group announced the launch of a new daily tabloid paper, the New Day. Very strange indeed.
There’s no doubt that newspaper readership has been on a downward trend. The latest ABC sales statistics show a decline of 8% a year for dailies and over 9% for Sunday papers. However, these numbers do not account for the growth of some titles of their digital audience. Titles such as the Guardian and Daily Mail now have huge online readerships of 40 million and 60 million unique users per month respectively*, whilst The Times has, on the face of things, effectively moved to a paywall subscription model for its online content.
But what do this week’s events mean? Who is making the right move? The death of traditional newsprint has been predicted before, but has still yet to materialise. Maybe there is room for both print and online to coexist in peaceful harmony. The reason for this could be down to the differences in which we consume digital and print media.
Yes, I’ll admit I consume the majority of my news, current affairs and sporting information online, from a wide range of different sources. This is great when we are leading busy lives and want to keep track of what’s happening out there in the rest of the world, picking and choosing small snippets of information to skim read and absorb. However, I still find that sitting down with a paper is a luxury. Reading an in depth article with thought provoking commentary, or stumbling across an interesting article I would never have searched for online, is one of life’s small pleasures. I hope enough other people feel the same way and that the newsprint tradition continues for a little while longer.