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Is the traditional Press on its last legs?

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It’s an inevitable outcome of the general diminished number of people reading anything as printed copy. Print runs have been shrinking since the early 00’s and it’s only because newspapers had such a huge numbers that they’ve lasted as long as they have without collapsing. If The Sun is losing circulation figures, no one is safe.

As an example.... the mag AutoTrader used to have a print run of around 750k every month in the late 90’s (possibly more before that) just before it ceased publication a few years ago it was down to something like 15k and is now entirely online. Ditto for things like holiday brochures, supermarket magazines, yadda yadda and you have a rough idea of the decline in print since the internet.

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And the bonus of online reading is you don't get newsprint all-over your hands, as a teenager I used to diligently read the NME, keeping the print off your stonewashed flares/bags was a required art.

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I can't be the only one who buys The Times just for the crossword and sudoku. I've tried buying the books but they do'nt have the same character. If I'm really busy, I don't bother reading the rest of the paper. It's £1.80 but I rationalise it by saving me time in the pub.

I never buy it on a Monday because the sudokus are too easy. I never buy a Sunday paper; I do Saturday's jumbo crossword.

TBH, assuming Libby Purves left (I haven't seen anything from her for ages), I also enjoy confirming that I've next-to-no common feeling with any of its political and lifestyle columnists. Mike Atherton is worth reading on any sport.

In the TV and mobile phone era, I think middle-aged reading is largely concentrated on public transport commuters. Books and magazines are easier to handle than newspapers.

Newspapers are all about old people talking to old people.


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Writing my previous post reminded me of an incident from my childhood. I went to a grammar school that in 1954, the year I was born, transferred to the state sector. The new catchment area included the more prosperous areas to the south and the valley council estates to the north.

Some eleven years later, many of the original teachers remained. In our first lesson with an English master, he asked each boy which newspaper his father read. On 2020 reflection, this could now be interpreted in one of two ways:

  • he was trying to decide how much disdain would be shown to each boy
  • he was trying to gauge the style of teaching needed to optimise learning in the group.

Actually, I think it was a combination of the two. He had a distinct character, a withering personality  and was an excellent teacher. I'm sure every old boy will remember him with affection.

Edited by Wolford6

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23 hours ago, Bedford Roughyed said:

The Telegraph Has been reported to be trying all sorts of things to halt the fall in sales, from cutting margins to being placed in the magazine section of WHSmiths.

The Telegraph (on Saturdays) is always the first paper to sell out in my local Waitrose. 

However it is one of the free papers, if you spend over £10. That's a bottle of wine for me and a free newspaper seems to be the norm. 😉


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19 minutes ago, Wiltshire Rhino said:

The Telegraph (on Saturdays) is always the first paper to sell out in my local Waitrose. 

However it is one of the free papers, if you spend over £10. That's a bottle of wine for me and a free newspaper seems to be the norm.

Middle class heaven all you need is God to be a Grey bearded  old whiteman and with pensions and lunacy being prominent right now, he'll be MANning the checkout! ( the capitals are deliberate because fighting political correctness would be compulsory!)

The decline of newspapers is a sad moment in history but they gave up the ghost of freedom of the press and being the bastion of democracy so long ago that if they'd been a dog that ill you'd have called the vet a while back.

Now the NME there was a paper worth every penny, and that was true in old money!

Telegraph & Waitrose I'm shocked to even hear them in the same sentence, however did they become an item?

 

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1 hour ago, Wolford6 said:

Writing my previous post reminded me of an incident from my childhood. I went to a grammar school that in 1954, the year I was born, transferred to the state sector. The new catchment area included the more prosperous areas to the south and the valley council estates to the north.

Some eleven years later, many of the original teachers remained. In our first lesson with an English master, he asked each boy which newspaper his father read. On 2020 reflection, this could now be interpreted in one of two ways:

  • he was trying to decide how much disdain would be shown to each boy
  • he was trying to gauge the style of teaching needed to optimise learning in the group.

Actually, I think it was a combination of the two. He had a distinct character, a withering personality  and was an excellent teacher. I'm sure every old boy will remember him with affection.

My interview for the army in 1989 asked me which paper I read. Even at the time I thought that was a daft question for squaddies, even more so once I got to meet the typical ones.

I’ve still no idea what he was trying to get from it but I don’t think the answer “well, our weekday paper is the Express and then the Sunday Post” was the one he wanted.


"When in deadly danger, when beset by doubt; run in little circles, wave your arms and shout"

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Just now, ckn said:

My interview for the army in 1989 asked me which paper I read. Even at the time I thought that was a daft question for squaddies, even more so once I got to meet the typical ones.

I’ve still no idea what he was trying to get from it but I don’t think the answer “well, our weekday paper is the Express and then the Sunday Post” was the one he wanted.

"We get the Morning Star but I think it's a bit Tory for my tastes …" I suspect is what they were aiming for.

Plus checking you could read. One of my more schadenfreude moments was some absolute nugget who made my life miserable failing to even get onto basic training because his reading was so poor. No excuses. He didn't have dyslexia or anything like it. He was just a weapons grade plank.


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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10 hours ago, Johnoco said:

It’s an inevitable outcome of the general diminished number of people reading anything as printed copy. Print runs have been shrinking since the early 00’s and it’s only because newspapers had such a huge numbers that they’ve lasted as long as they have without collapsing. If The Sun is losing circulation figures, no one is safe.

As an example.... the mag AutoTrader used to have a print run of around 750k every month in the late 90’s (possibly more before that) just before it ceased publication a few years ago it was down to something like 15k and is now entirely online. Ditto for things like holiday brochures, supermarket magazines, yadda yadda and you have a rough idea of the decline in print since the internet.

My first manager had previously worked in sales for FHM. This would be 1999 and he was talking about the previous couple of years. They had to print so many copies - and they were awkward to do because of inserts, extra ads etc - that at one point there was simply not the capacity in any of the printers that could do it to meet demand.

I believe FHM is digital only now.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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4 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

"We get the Morning Star but I think it's a bit Tory for my tastes …" I suspect is what they were aiming for.

Plus checking you could read. One of my more schadenfreude moments was some absolute nugget who made my life miserable failing to even get onto basic training because his reading was so poor. No excuses. He didn't have dyslexia or anything like it. He was just a weapons grade plank.

Probably the first point, not the second as we’d already done the aptitude tests. I wish I’d had the confidence to ask “why?” at the time as it did bug me for a while. 


"When in deadly danger, when beset by doubt; run in little circles, wave your arms and shout"

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Just now, ckn said:

Probably the first point, not the second as we’d already done the aptitude tests. I wish I’d had the confidence to ask “why?” at the time as it did bug me for a while. 

I just felt the urge to bask in the glow of the utter failure of a particularly horrible person.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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On a general note:

Isn't this more of an "Any Other Business" topic rather than a "Political Discussions" topic. I think quite a few potential and interesting contributors might be put off from logging into the "Political Discussions" section.


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6 minutes ago, Wolford6 said:

On a general note:

Isn't this more of an "Any Other Business" topic rather than a "Political Discussions" topic. I think quite a few potential and interesting contributors might be put off from logging into the "Political Discussions" section.

Good point, I'll shift it.


"When in deadly danger, when beset by doubt; run in little circles, wave your arms and shout"

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1 hour ago, ckn said:

“well, our weekday paper is the Express and then the Sunday Post” was the one he wanted.

Well that's only like my mother's (me mams) advice for job applications always  put C of E and when I said well we are aren't we? replied are we bu ggery!


On n'est pas là pour se faire engueuler

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I think the demise of the physical printed press is inevitable.

Sadly I don’t think the rise of new media and social media as a replacement for a means of obtaining information has led to be people being more informed.

In fact, it’s been ‘bad news’ for the Western democracies in general.

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I don't use twitter - but had to go on it yesterday to see a tweet, i noticed that the #1 trend was started by a Youtuber doing a giveaway with the hashtag #IBlockedTheSun because he hates it so much.

Found that amusing.

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I haven't read a physical paper in about 10 years. I used to get the Metro while commuting, but no longer bother. The London Evening Standard became free a few years ago, but it doesn't tempt me, as it was never very good before.

My dad gets the Telegraph, and it is sad to see the state of their editorial and political opinion pages these days. However, some of their other content is better written, more grown-up and intelligent. The main enjoyment, though, is the Telegraph's general knowledge crosswords, especially the big weekend ones. A broad spread of subjects and challenging enough to get the grey cells ticking over in the morning.

If you do read a particular paper out of habit, from wherever in the spectrum, the occasional purchase of Private Eye is recommended, just to see why your newspaper is taking a particular stance and who stands to profit from it.


"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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1 hour ago, Futtocks said:

If you do read a particular paper out of habit, from wherever in the spectrum, the occasional purchase of Private Eye is recommended, just to see why your newspaper is taking a particular stance and who stands to profit from it.

I take your point but, after an absence of several years,  I have bought the last two issues of Private Eye.

I only bought the second one because, after the first one, I thought "Blimey it can't always be this boring".

It is though; only the cartoons raised a smile from me.


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And yet Private Eye is one of the few examples of circulation increasing.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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6 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

And yet Private Eye is one of the few examples of circulation increasing.

More cartoons. It's the future. The Daily Telegraph can merge with the Beano, the Sun with Commando War Stories and the Daily Mirror with Roy of the Rovers. The Daily Mail can come to some deal with Andrex. 

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3 minutes ago, Shadow said:

More cartoons. It's the future. The Daily Telegraph can merge with the Beano, the Sun with Commando War Stories and the Daily Mirror with Roy of the Rovers. The Daily Mail can come to some deal with Andrex. 

And the S*n can team up with Izal.


"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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On 24/02/2020 at 17:42, Saintslass said:

I buy and read the Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph every week and occasionally I buy a Daily Telegraph.  I also subscribe to the Telegraph online.  I have never read red tops; I've always been a broadsheet reader.  I read the Guardian online too but would never pay for it so if they go subscription then I'll stop reading it.  But I like to know what the opposition is saying (not that I can't guess most of the time!).

I'll be very sad when physical papers disappear, which unless young people suddenly discover a love of physical permanent stuff as opposed to digital disappearing stuff, is the way that its going for newspapers.  I still think at least some of them pull good numbers online; it appears to be the paper versions that are not doing so well.

 

I agree it’s good to read things you might not normally agree with to help broaden your perspective on matters.

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8 hours ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

I think the demise of the physical printed press is inevitable.

Sadly I don’t think the rise of new media and social media as a replacement for a means of obtaining information has led to be people being more informed.

In fact, it’s been ‘bad news’ for the Western democracies in general.

As they've been failing in their prime role for quite a while democracy had already lost them. They should and could be a real alternative to what computers have to offer.


On n'est pas là pour se faire engueuler

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