What If ...There Were No Newspapers?What If ...There Were No Newspapers?

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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This needs to be moved to the History Discussion Forum. You'll get all kinds of viewpoints in response to this interesting starting point! In today's world, newspapers are possibly not as important as they were in the past, but society would be very different if newspapers had not been present to allow citizens to become informed in the past.

As a source of information, newspapers have historically played a critical role in the development of society, particularly if you are willing to expand the definition of newspapers to include town criers who were the pre-printing press announcers of current events. Newspapers have enabled citizens to gain awareness of events that impact their lives directly and immediately as well as those that are interesting solely for their educational value. One of America's original newspapermen, Benjamin Franklin, so highly valued the role of the newspaper that he said,

"A Bible and a newspaper in every house, a good school in every district - all studied and appreciated as they merit - are the principle support of virtue, morality, and civil liberty."

boblawrence eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am an older person and I still read two newspapers daily.  I generally do not use the Internet to read news, but I do watch the evening network news on TV.

For me, personally, the loss of newspapers would be very upsetting.  This is because the newspaper is part of my daily routine and entertainment.  I read the local paper in the morning during breakfast, and the big city newspaper from our area during lunch.  I also do most of the puzzles (JUMBLE, SUDOKU and CROSSWORDS).  I cannot imagine that fooling around with a laptop at breakfast and lunch would provide the same pleasure and entertainment.

When I run out of time at lunch I toss the uncompleted puzzles in my car for use during coffee break. Again, I would hate to lose this part of my day.

Yes, the loss of newspapers would probably have no monumental adverse effect on society, but for me, personally, it would be very undesirable.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think you need to distinguish between "no newspapers" and "no sources of news."  The former would be a change, the latter would be a disaster.

In today's world, there is really very little objective need for newspapers as we used to know them.  We can get plenty of news from various sources on the internet or in the broadcast media.  So long as we continue to get news, there is no real problem.  News in general is important because without it, we could not have a strong democracy.  We would be in the position of not knowing what was going on in the country and would therefore be unable to monitor what our government is doing.  This would fatally wound our democracy.

belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We are rapidly moving in that direction right now. With the Internet on every computer, and the ability to check favorite news sites on phones, newspapers are more a relic of the past than a useful source. I don't personally know anyone who reads the newspaper every day and relies on it for news. Internet news is still in a fledgling phase, with many sites focusing on aggregation rather than generation, but they are becoming more and more reliable. Many news stories are exclusively broken online, with newspapers and TV following days or even weeks later. If there were no newspapers... well, today, I don't think anyone would really even notice.

vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with others that we are moving away from printed newspapers in any case and that before too long most of us will acquire our news via the internet in some form. With any luck, methods of reading will be even handier than the electronic "tablets" currently available. I can imagine devices almost as flexible as (but sturdier them) paper itself. There may actually be some benefit in such a transition, since printing on paper can be wasteful and since, theoretically, articles delivered online can be as long and detailed as they need to be, with no need for the writer to worry about constraints of space.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We might get to try this idea out soon, as the traditional form of print media that has been around for centuries is quickly being outflanked by cheaper, leaner online publications and cable news outlets.

But if there were literally no newspapers in print or other forms, this would significantly change the landscape of journalism and the model of how we get our information.  Television and radio broadcasters would be what remained, and bloggers online, all of which seem to have a lower standard of journalistic ethics and standards.  Bottom line is that we would be less well informed.

drjjpdc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

#13 Do you like reading dramas or tragedies? They are pretty negative. News is by nature negative or at least not a chronicle of the normality of daily life. How many people fall down a well on a daily basis? That is why it is news. Shawn, if there was a chronicle of your day with nothing unusual, walking to school, opening your book for a class, etc. Who would want to read that? But if you saved someone's life or got hit by a meteor yourself, that would be news. No way of getting around it.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have to concur with other editors. Newspapers in their traditional sense are soon going to be a thing of the past as ezines and epapers become things of the future. Gone will be those halcyon days of reclinging on an armchair on a Saturday morning perusing the headlines. Rather we will have our tablets. I think newspapers still have a very valuable role, it is just that their method of presenting information is changing.

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Many have argued that an independent media, one that was not owned by one of a handful of corporations, is a thing of the past. So newspapers as Benjamin Franklin knew them are long gone already. As far as the physical medium used to actually deliver the news, I think there will remain a niche market for traditional newspapers, but as it stands, they are going out of business right and left.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Newspapers are fast becoming a thing of the past. Many old papers have folded, and most of the ones I read these days have become much smaller due to the expense of printing and distribution. However, the Internet is making up for the reduction of print media by even more widespread news sources, so there will never be a lack of news to read.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I do not think that losing newspapers would be that big of a loss (outside of the loss of jobs--big loss there). Many people look to Internet based news site and news from the television. As for papers, I honestly cannot think of the last time I read one.

shawnlang | Student

I don't like reading newspapers for the fact that most of the news are negative. What's the point of knowing the world's affairs if you can't even secure your family's future. I would rather spend more time building pipelines to secure my family's future instead of of worrying about the world's affairs. Therefore, the loss of newspaper will have no impact on me. :)




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jessica500 | Student

I don't like newspaper because there BORING i prefer magazines or watching the news instead what do you think???