Even in a supposedly prosperous and well-educated state like Connecticut, how strong can demand for those things be now that half the children are being raised without two parents at home and thus acquiring developmental handicaps; 70 percent of community college and state university freshmen have not mastered what used to be considered basic high school skills; poverty has risen steadily even as government appropriations in the name of remediating poverty have risen steadily; and democracy has sunk so much that half the eligible population isn’t voting in presidential elections, 65 percent isn’t voting in state elections, and 85 percent isn’t voting in municipal elections?
This social disintegration and decline in civic engagement coincide with the decline of traditional journalism just as much as the rise of the Internet does.
Indeed, newspapers still can sell themselves to traditional households — two-parent families involved with their children, schools, churches, sports, civic groups, and such. But newspapers cannot sell themselves to households headed by single women who have several children by different fathers, survive on welfare stipends, can hardly speak or read English, move every few months to cheat their landlords, barely know what town they’re living in, and couldn’t afford a newspaper subscription even if they could read. And such households constitute a rising share of the population.
It takes a special kind of misogyny to believe that the decline in print newspaper subscribers is due to women who get pregnant out of wedlock. Maybe the decline really started with women getting the right to vote, or working outside of the home?
It takes a spectacular sense of denial to miss the trend away from print media across all socio-economic categories.
And it takes a stunted and isolated concept of journalism and business opportunities to believe that single mothers, minorities, low-income people and non-traditional families don’t care about the plane crash down the street, their tax bill or their children’s health or education, or that they don’t buy the products your advertisers are selling.
My response: WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS? I’ve read some half-educated shit in my time about what really killed newspapers, and the top half of this article, detailing the rise of Those Kids With Their Phones isn’t much more intelligent than this, but this is where it goes careening off the rails. Off the rails, on fire, directly into a barn full of chickens.
I mean it, what the fucking fuck? You have to have a dude in the house for anyone to read a paper? You need a “traditional family” in order to be basically literate and care when the local park is gonna be closed and if your kids’ school has a new principal or whatever? You have to go to church to, you know, read something interesting to you? I don’t see how a Lions Club membership makes you automatically a better newspaper reader.