Surviving the World

A Photocomic Education by Dante Shepherd

Lesson #335 - Newspapers

Surveys have shown (and we lost the reference on this, so no link to it) that while most people would prefer to get their news for free, the only reason they buy a newspaper is because they enjoy holding it in their hands. If that's all that is driving newspaper sales at this point, then with a whole generation growing up that never experiences the pleasure of holding a newspaper and reading it without staring at a screen, newspapers are screwed.

Webcomics certainly aren't driving newspapers out of business, but they're a good example of how much the internet is influencing the way we take in information - so many of the comics in newspapers have gotten completely stale, or repetitive, or require all their jokes to fit within a clean, distinct, sanitary mold, that most of them just aren't very good anymore. And of those that are good, some of them are available online. Meanwhile, the comics that can take chances, try to create a different audience, and are willing to potentially offend the people who prefer newspaper comics if it allows them to create comics the way they want to, well, all those comics are online.

Meanwhile, not only can you get more and better comics online, but you can also get the same news you'd get from the paper for free, as well as so many other news sources that frequently have more interesting takes on the same news issue. So more people are going to keep using the internet to get everything, except for maybe small local newspapers to provide their direct regional news.

And as newspapers keep cutting costs, we're going to see even more internet news organizations, and more webcomics, and just an entire culture based around digital information sharing. It's kind of sad to anyone who grew up enjoying newspapers, but it's probably a future coming right around the corner.

The actual number of webcomics, by the way, is probably way beyond 18,000, but the usual estimate is from almost two years ago, so you do what you can with it.

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Since STW doesn't rely on newspaper printing (although we wouldn't turn down the offer), we could use any vote you're willing to offer. Thanks a lot.