Posted by Billyjam, July 16, 2007 02:30pm | Post a Comment

For a long time the New York Times has cost one dollar-- just a dollar, whether purchased in New York City or a newsstand in California. But the price of today's (7/16) edition of the New York Times, which coincidentally seemed slimmer than usual, went up in price by a quarter to $1.25 -- which is still good value because it's a great newspaper (despite some faults) that does a thorough job and covers topics that others do not, and has been doing so since 1851 -- winning more Pulitzer Prizes (95) along the way than any other American news journal.

But regardless of its historic legacy, like all newspapers across the US today, the New York Times is also feeling the economic fallout of the new digital age in which advertisers are increasingly taking their dollars elsewhere, and news and information seekers are going online in increasing numbers.  Simply put: people don't read newspapers quite like they used to. In a recently published study entitled "Young People and News," reported coincidentally in today's New York Times, findings showed that only 9% of teenagers surveyed read a newspaper every day. Meanwhile 18 to 30 year olds rated higher, with 16% of those surveyed daily newspaper readers.

Recently both the San Jose Mercury News (long considered among the country's finest newspapers) and the San Francisco Chronicle laid off a chunk of staff. They had no choice: the economy ruled, and journalists lost jobs. But the tragedy is that with these investigative reporters gone, or going, so too is good journalism. The idea of the traditional city newspaper office, filled with reporters who go out with a pad and pen to dig deep in investigative stories has pretty much become a thing of the past -- and that sucks. While there are now more and more news and information sources than ever before, with everyone and their mama blogging, it often seems in this new digital age that we've traded in quality for quantity.

But back to the new price of the New York Times. In Europe it's generally more expensive to buy a newspaper. In Dublin theIrish Times costs well over $2 each day. Consider then the low price of the New York Post: only 25 cents. That's cheap!  It's also, as many laugh, about exactly how much the tabloid is worth. The Rupert Murdoch owned, cheeky daily that boasts "Page Six" and leads in gossip, is right wing and pro-Republican to the point of being downright entertaining. Additionally to their credit: their editorial team comes up with some of the punchiest, eye-grabbing headlines for their equally sensationalist stories, like the heading in today's Post for the unsettling story about the group of  young kids yesterday afternoon on a kiddie-boat cruise that started out innocently as a jaunt out to the Statue of Liberty, but on the way back to Manhattan's Pier 40 became a shocking experience for the young children (even more so for their concerned parents) when the "kiddie-cruise" boat bumped right into a dead body floating in the Hudson.

PARTY GUEST A STIFF: Boat kids see body in Hudson  -- tastefully read the Post headline.

As far as cost, unlike the New York Times, to purchase the New York Post outside of New York is like buying some import item. The paper that costs a quarter in New York City sells for $2 at Hollywood newsstands and for $2.25 at the LA airports.

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New York (59), San Jose Mercury News (1), Newspapers (1), Rupert Murdoch (1), San Francisco Chronicle (1), Journalism (1)