Everyone presumes that as technology is embraced by even Grandma, Grandpa and Santa Claus, that print media is coming to the end of its life cycle. However, this could not be further from the truth. A research survey conducted by Canadian company Vividata released data on the readership for 117 Canadian newspapers and magazines and discovered that while 8/10 Canadians still read a physical newspaper in a weeks time, and at least 54% of Canadians are reading at least some of their news digitally, and of those, 70% of all digital consumption is done on a mobile device.
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
What I find most interesting however, is the statistics given on the Canadian millennial:
“More than half of millennials are reading a Monday to Friday edition of a newspaper, with 38% exclusively accessing content via a digital device and 25% reading a print copy only. The study also found that 60% of millennials read magazines, yet only 16% use a digital version exclusively and 37% read only a print copy.”
The fact that millennials are consuming news at all in print shocks me. We know that selling physical copies of music is absolutely terrible because of the fact HMV will have to shut down all 102 of its stores by April 30th, 2017. Blockbuster and other video rental stores suffered the same fate with only The Lobby Video Store, a lone wolf still surviving on the same hope that horror fans can sustain the business longer than the victims in the movies they so love.
Ray Bradbury published the dystopian Fahrenheit 451 in October of 1953, without any foresight of what the future may hold for authors and journalists just half a century later. However, his imagination allowed him to conceive of a world where the dissemination of knowledge could be a serious threat to the authotarian government that tries to drown people in sensations and fear, penalizing anyone who tries to enlighten themselves and challenge the status quo.
As promising as the data is from Vividata, I foresee the eventual demise of the printing press in the not-so-far-off future. It’s more environmentally savvy anyways. However, what I worry more about is the literacy rates in Canada and the quality of what people are reading. Social media is just not sufficient enough for expanding our minds
- Four out of ten Canadian adults have literacy skills too low to be fully competent in most jobs in our modern economy.
(Adult Literacy Rate—Low-Level Skills)
That is really depressing.
40% of Canadians are incompetent at their jobs based on their literacy rate?
Maybe the education system needs to check the elimination of cursive writing, because after all, reading and writing go hand-in-hand.
Anyways, I will just leave this here for your contemplation: