Posted by: Justine | September 25, 2010

A Simple Inquiry Into The Slow Death Of The Broadsheet

Hard-hitting headline as always.

Newspaper sales are down. Hard. The most affected are the broadsheets. The big three: the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Philippine Star, and the Manila Bulletin all struggling to increase profits and utilizing the Internet as viable and profitable way of offsetting the lost in sales of physical copies of news papers. The tabloids are not hit as badly as the broadsheets when it comes to sales. What is the problem?
Simple. The problem is that the people likely to buy broadsheets (educated people) are also the people like to be Internet savvy and get news from the Internet instead.
This, I think, is the main problem of broadsheets. Instead of buying the daily newspaper, their former subscribers would just get news from news sites, Twitter, or even the broadsheets’ own websites. This is not a problem for the tabloids their market mostly consist of lower C, D, and E and are less likely to use the Internet. Mang Caloy from the kanto won’t get his news from anytime soon. He has BOMBA for that.

Tabloids. Gotta love them.

I applaud the efforts of the broadsheets in increasing their online presence and posting up to the minute news on Twitter, something a traditional newspaper won’t normally do. But there’s already a problem in that it’s so much more convenient reading their Twitter feed and following links than buying a newspaper the next day just to see what happened for the rest of the day. The broadsheets just can’t keep up with the times, both literally and figuratively.

Boon and bane.

As I’m writing this, having a McDonald’s breakfast, an uncomfortable inevitability suddenly came to my mind: one day, printed newspapers will only be read by old men who don’t know jack about technology while having their morning pancake the broadsheet and these old men sharing their twilight years. After that, both would just be memories of times already gone.


  1. I think broadsheets and other tabloids alike will never die. But people’s enthusiasm about them. It’s like representing the divides and ironies of our society in a micro perspective. If one day all people who reads the newspapers will be the oldies who in the present time know nothing about computers, then it just presents how our society goes. Even with the existence and emergence of new social media and modern technology, the ‘old’ part of how things were will never be obsolete.

  2. I think all communication technologies must somehow, at one point, die a natural death. It’s sad that it’s happening to the broadsheets that I happen to read, but we’ve seen these things happen. We’ve seen this with the telegram. It’s just that the lifespan of a technology or even a practice is only as long as its functionality lasts to people concerned. The good thing about this is that for every technology that dies, an innovation emerges – and these are the kinds of things that help us advance, in life and in our way of communicating. 🙂

  3. After working for weeks with piles upon piles of newspapers for my OJT, it is the most strange that I grew to appreciate them more. I guess I am one of the more ‘conservative’ types who would be very sad if the newspaper does fall into disuse. It’s a slow death. I think even the broadsheets know this – well, the situation is staring right at them – and they are adjusting accordingly. They even have internet sites which are regularly updated, which shows that they are making a transition. At the very core though, it’s not about newspapers – it’s about journalism. The newspaper as a medium may fade away, but not the practice and interest for news.

  4. In my point of view, your opinion of the broadsheets’ death is due to the fact that you yourself don’t read those anymore. 😛 But the fact is, these newspaper companies know what’s up for them now that SNS is taking root (or should I say, already took root) in our media system. They even have Twitter accounts already (i.e. Inquirer). I agree with Precious. It’s not just about the distribution of paper — it’s the proliferation of the news and the truth.

  5. i happen to have read on a newspaper some months ago that indeed the newspaper publishers have hit a halt. in fact, they’re looking into making newspapers free for all and the primary source of income/profit will be advertisers like in foreign countries. perhaps some things become outgrown. it’s inevitable. remember when there were dinosaurs? right. you didn’t see them. they were simply, long gone.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: