The Importance and Purpose of the Newspaper Before the Influence of the Internet

The way people receive news now and how people received news in the past is very different and still evolving because of the influence of the Internet. Before there was internet and television, the primary source of local, national, and international news was the newspaper. The newspaper’s purpose is to inform the audience about what is going on in the world/community around them. Newspapers provide a variety of stories from human interest and lifestyle to arts and investigative journalism.

Generally speaking, the newspaper was a place where you could find this variety of stories and articles, and it was something that EVERYONE did because culturally it was important to stay informed and more practically because newspapers were the primary vehicle for information. Even “fluffy” gossip stories had a place in separate tabloid papers or magazines.

Newspapers provided longer-form and longer-term journalism that could tell a complete and unfolding story in depth. Journalists would write follow-up stories to previous articles, or several articles leading up to a larger event.

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This was a good way for someone to conduct other social science research. They could go to the library and look at the microfilm of all the different newspaper articles before, during and after a time period or event. The nature of the newspaper is that it is a physical object. You need to obtain a physical copy of the paper in order to be informed. This physical copy was delivered to everyone’s door at a particular day and time every week, or purchased at newsstands, typically at the same place and time daily.

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This process of how the newspaper gets in people’s hands takes a long time. The journalist has to come up with a good lead on a story, research, analyze and interview and then write the story. Then someone has to take all the stories and lay them out into a readable printout, and the actual paper still needed to be printed upon, cut, and folded. Then when this is approved all the papers have to get printed. Finally, someone has to deliver these physical newspapers to people’s hands! This long process, compared to today, gave the journalists a little more time to write the stories that the public demands, and those that the public may not have known about, such as Watergate.

This time gives the journalist the room to think about what they are writing and collect more data. This means that their were less inaccuracies and less people being MISINFORMED by the newspaper. There were more stories that the public knew nothing about but had a right to know. This is unlike how people receive news today. The newspaper has now converged with the internet. There are still a few people that buy newspapers but these people are normally non-internet users. The internet has caused most newspapers to have an online version of their newspaper. This means that the process of getting people news is much, much faster!

And with this ability to deliver news so fast, there is also a demand for for it to be faster. People now consume the newspaper instantly on their mobile devices. Pressure on journalists is different than it used to be. This pressure causes journalists to take stories that can be written faster, require less research or may quickly capture people’s attention, rather than searching for something that is going to be important to inform the public about and taking all the time necessary to report. Because of new internet realities, newspapers are also combating revenue issues. There are fewer people willing to pay a subscription fee to receive a physical paper when they can increasingly using their phones and computers to access all needed information on the internet. Before the internet and websites such as eBay and Craigslist, many people would buy a section in the classifieds to sell their old stuff.

This was a significant source of income. Different papers have tried to replace income from lost paper sales and classified postings in different ways. The main two are by having a paywall where you have to pay to access their online version of the paper, or they have their online paper be free but they receive income from advertisers with the result that there are many ‘spammy’ advertisements and fake-news clickbait all over their page. Moving to being online isn’t all bad for the newspaper business.

They now are able to produce news to a national and international audience in a moments notice. This is very good for emergency situations and has surely help prevent people from putting themselves in danger. The newspaper is going a lot of different places in the next few years. It not likely anything as groundbreaking as the internet will be invented, but the online newspaper will morph into something different than it is now.

First, news companies are going to become something more like a technology company or there will be a large portion of their company that will be graphic and web designers. Many newspapers websites now are bland and boring looking, which is appropriate considering this website was born from a boring black and white paper. As more and more baby-boomers die, it will be important to appeal to the younger generation by making their websites more aesthetically pleasing and maybe even attention getting in pure visual design. Next, the actual stories on the news websites are going to be slightly watered down stories that are possibly not very important but will be the type of thing that markets to peoples interests to make them want to read it.

Millennials generally do not watch the news very closely, but they do often times follow the lives of celebrities and I think that is what the newspaper websites will consist of. This will be the only way that people will want to read their papers pay to gain access to it or deal with the spammy pop up advertisements that cover the sites. Lastly, people will not have equal access to news because the companies will want to and have paywalls to gain access. This will mean that poorer people will not be able to afford to read the newspaper. This will cause for poorer people to be slightly less informed than the people who can afford to read the paper, thus solidifying the gap between different socioeconomic statuses.

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The Importance and Purpose of the Newspaper Before the Influence of the Internet. (2023, Mar 17). Retrieved from

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