Internet not responsible for newspaper decline: Study

As per a research conducted by Professor Matthew Gentzkow of University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Internet may actually not be responsible for the sharp decline of the traditional newspaper industry as most of us believe. Researchers have found that the web may actually not have prompted this fall. Majority accepts the fact that the Internet did have a role in killing newspapers. As per the common belief, the newspaper business was growing before the mid-90s with quality journalism and pages of ads. Then, the general population started drifting towards the Internet, and the popularity of print started declining. However, as per Gentzkow, the assumptions about journalism are based on three false grounds. These are:

  1. The online advertising revenues are naturally lower than print revenues, so that traditional media needs to adopt a less profitable business model that can’t support paying real reports.
  2. The web has made the advertising market more competitive which has driven down rates and revenues.
  3. The Internet is responsible for the newspaper’s demise.

Evidence given by the research discarding the above beliefs: 

  • Several previous researches have shown that people spend an order of magnitude more time reading than the average monthly visitor online, which makes looking at these rates as analogous false.
  • On comparing the amount of time people actually see an ad, it was found that the price of attention for similar consumers is actually higher online.
  • The popularity of newspapers had already significantly reduced between 1980 and 1995, well before the Internet revolution, and has decreased at roughly the same rate since then.




Categories: Science & Technology



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