Newspapers, which have been in a general decline for the last several years, received some more bad news this week with the release of a new survey from Edison Research that showed that they have become the least essential form of media in our lives.
The survey asked respondents to answer the question: “Among the Internet, newspapers, radio and television which one is the least essential to your life?”
Newspapers topped the list with 48 percent, followed by radio, television and Internet.
This is a change from 13 years ago when Edison first asked the question, and the nascent Internet barely beat out newspapers as the least essential.
Since then, the Internet has grown rapidly—it’s hard to imagine life without it—and has become a major source of news for people who began by reading news on their computers and are moving at a rapid pace to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
This shift away from newspapers shows no signs of abating, and will likely only increase in the next few years. Thus, newspapers will become virtually obsolete in the near future as the generations that were raised on them age and die off, leaving few who will continue to read the printed page.