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From: Hugh McInnish [e-mail him]
Editor and Publisher is the journal covering the country's newspaper industry. It has today (30 October) published a report of the decline in circulation during the last six months of the big newspapers in the country. The decline is catastrophic, and indeed may presage the destruction of the venerable (?) old sheets.
But the Sunday edition of the Boston Globe fell an incredible 9.9 percent. If this rate of decay continues its "half life" would be about 3.5 years, meaning that its circulation over that period would have dropped by 50 percent. At what point does an old, megalithic entity such as the Globe lose critical mass and become benign?
And what of the country's "Newspaper of Record"? Even the once-invincible New York Times went down 3.5 percent.
The E&P article mentioned that big cities are "feeling the effects of the internet." And they certainly are. It is obvious that we are swinging about a hinge point in the history of communication, and the internet is what is supplying the pushing force.
Many have thought that the internet is the greatest invention since that of Herr Gutenberg. But the editor of a certain prominent anti-illegal immigration website has said it is the greatest invention since writing. It may not be possible to put an exact measure on the internet, but no one can deny that its dimension is huge.