Weekly Reflection 4

Last week, it was reported that the New York Times saw its digital-only subscriptions increase 46% over last year and 51% over the last quarter. It was also reported that the Times’ print distribution continued to decline. In the last quarter of 2017, print advertising revenue fell 8.4% while digital advertising revenue rose 8.5%. What does all of this mean?

The Times added 157,000 new digital-only subscribers in the last quarter. These are people who no longer hear the thud of the newspaper hitting their front door. These are people who no longer visit the newspaper stand near the corner, carry on a polite conversation with the business owner, and maybe meet a few new people.

I understand the allure of a digital subscription. After all, the subscriber receives the news at the speed it is written, no longer having to wait until an entire edition is completed. But we lose human interaction in the process.

Are we ready to turn our backs on humankind so we can be the first to know the latest about our government or our world? How about the latest celebrity gossip?

How much are we willing to pay?

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