There’s a lot been written over the past decade about the death of newspapers, often with the blame attributed to the web and specifically Google and, here in the UK, the BBC. I hesitate to venture into this territory given there are many people who know more than I do about the subject, and also my role in a business with some adjacency to the sector. But I am going to anyway.
Recently my dad was explaining to me why, at the age of 76, he’s stopped buying newspapers. Not one specific newspaper, but all. His most recent daily was the Daily Telegraph, but he’s bought the Times, Guardian and local newspapers too – a half century habit. Since he retired over 15 years ago, his morning routine has always been a brisk walk around the local park and fields, stopping on the way back to pick up a paper before returning home for breakfast. We’re talking about a deeply-ingrained habit of buying newspapers.
Why have my parents stopped buying newspapers? They don’t get their news online – that’s for email and Facebook and family photos. They have always watched the TV news – that hasn’t changed. It’s purely and simply down to quality.