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Free, digital news is threatening traditional newspapers around the world, so why do they survive and what is their future? Sophie and Neil discuss the pros and cons of news in print.

How many national print newspapers are currently sold in the UK a day? Is it…

a) 70,000?

b) 700,000?

c) 7 million?

Everything you read on the internet! This story is from one of those fake news websites that float about on social media. And you aren’t the only one to get taken in – even serious news channels report these types of stories as if they were true.

Digital news and its effect on traditional newspapers is the subject of today’s show. The thing is, if you read a traditional print newspaper like I do, you’d find stories that are more reliable – ones you can trust.

Enjoy your traditional print newspaper while you can, because they’re going to disappear pretty soon – the same way as the dinosaurs!

It is true that print newspapers are feeling the pinch these days – and that means not making enough money. But I will miss them if they go. Which brings me on to today’s quiz question. How many national print newspapers are currently sold in the UK a day? Is it…
a) 70,000?
b) 700,000?
Or c) 7 million?

The answer is actually c) 7 million. But the numbers are falling.

During the First World War local papers always printed In Memoriam columns where they’d list local dead. What a lot of them also did was they allowed relatives to submit short poems about their deceased loved ones and some of them were five or six lines – not very long – but they’re really, really quite powerful. And the paper dedicated page space to print not just one of these, but multiple, and I don’t know whether a modern paper would even consider doing that today.

 

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