Most U.S. print newspapers will be gone in the next five years, according to a study released last month by the Annenberg School of the University of Southern California. "It’s likely that only four major daily newspapers . . . will continue in print: The New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal," the study concludes.
The circulation of U.S. newspapers has been in steady decline since 1987, and advertising revenue, when adjusted for inflation, has hit a 60-year low, notes Mark J. Perry, a professor of economics at the University of Michigan.
Today, responding to the anti-rights twaddle of daily newspapers is more and more like arguing with—for lack of a polite comparison—terminally ill mental patients. Having long ago departed from the world of fact and reason, and sliding ever faster toward their inelegant demise, newspapers simply have become distractions and decoys for gun-rights activists. It's only from the force of habit that gun writers today bother to rebut the tired fallacies rehashed in the dead-tree media.
In the best of times, newspapers occasionally served as useful platforms for the thoughtful exploration of public policy—including Second Amendment rights. Those days are gone. Today newspapers are left to troll for the last few readers whom they can inflame or gratify with abject emotionalist rhetoric. Their product often is drivel that not even an indulgent middle-school English teacher would accept as cogent or reasonable.
No wonder that fewer people than ever before read newspapers, and no one much cares what they have to say. You can await the final gasp at Newspaper Death Watch, America's newspaper hospice ward.
- - - - - -
Philip Mulivor is a coordinator for Ohioans for Concealed Carry and author of Proclaiming Liberty: What Patriots and Heroes Really Said about the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.