The Bell Tolls For Newspapers? Think Tank Says The Day Is Almost Here

Who really reads the paper anymore? I am really not the one to ask, as I am an online journalist who wants you to read your news online (Disclaimer: If it were up to me everyone would read the Inquisitr) but University of Southern California’s Annenberg Center for the Digital Future has some news that might shock everyone.

They are boldly predicting that within the next five years, all but four major daily papers will have completely left the printed newspaper market. That’s right, only four! Those making the cut are The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. The Center also found it worthy to point out that two of these dailies already charge for online content, and that would be the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. USA Today is planning to start charging within the next year. As of now the Washington Post plans to still keep its online content free.

The issue at hand, is really a wide question. What will happen if all content is really only available online?

For a lot of us, the idea that the printed newspaper is going the way of the dodo has already been long accepted. The increased online focus of many papers offers real time news and constant breaking updates, but the lingering questions remain about what the loss of print papers will mean for the news itself. Will online journalism, if it is the only medium, replace in depth investigative journalism? For that we have to wait and see.