conscienti1984 saidThe internet. This is happening all around the country. I used to be a paperboy in the 'old part of my town.' When I first started, I had over 80 papers to deliver--that was over ten years ago. A friend of the family is the current paper boy... there are only 50 customers now. Old people die. It seems younger people, like me, get their news off the internet.
The Internet has simply brought competition. I think there's also an increased recognition that traditional newspapers (and for that matter broadcast news) have acted as self appointed filters to the news imparting bias both in the actual reporting and what gets reported. I think one can make the argument that based on some of the news forms today it is worse than it was before but the reality is that people are able to get and process more news than ever before.
People have come to realize that they were paying more for the paper and distribution networks rather than news itself. Worse, what news they were getting didn't provide the whole picture. (for the record, I have a WSJ online subscription that I pay for but I also skim the Globe and Mail and The Record (a local paper) in hard copy though am thinking of dropping the Globe).
It's not about the medium - it's the quality of the news.
Have a look at these numbers:http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?sid=aCqhUGHclxxs&pid=20601087
Top 25 U.S. Newspapers’ Average Weekday Paid Circulation
Rank Newspaper as of March ‘10 (Year-over-Year)
1 Wall Street Journal 2,092,523 0.5
2 USA Today 1,826,622 -13.6
3 New York Times 951,063 -8.5
4 Los Angeles Times 616,606 -14.7
5 Washington Post 578,482 -13.1
6 New York Daily News 535,059 -11.3
7 New York Post 525,004 -5.9
8 San Jose Mercury News 516,701 N/A#
9 Chicago Tribune 452,145 -9.8
10 Houston Chronicle 366,578 -13.8
11 Philadelphia Inquirer 356,189 N/A#
12 Arizona Republic 351,207 -9.9
13 Newsday 334,809 -9.1
14 Denver Post 333,675 N/A#
15 Minneapolis Star Tribune 295,438 -7.7
16 St. Petersburg Times 278,888 -1.5
17 Chicago Sun-Times 268,803 -13.9
18 Cleveland Plain Dealer 267,888 -8.1
19 Oregonian 263,600 -1.8
20 Seattle Times 263,468 N/A#
21 Dallas Morning News 260,659 -21.5
22 Detroit Free Press 252,017 -13.3
23 San Diego Union-Tribune 249,630 -4.5
24 San Francisco Chronicle 241,330 -22.7
25 Newark Star-Ledger 236,017 -17.8
Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations