As we venture into a completely digital world, definitions of many things have completely changed. While consuming news in earlier days involved curling on your armchair while navigating your favourite section of the newspaper and what better than a cup of tea to accompany you. However, it is certainly true what Bob Dylan has said “The times They-Are-A-Changin”. With the advent of digital media, we hardly find time to devote to reading a newspaper and want to consumer more and more information as quickly as possible on our smartphones.

Source: Mediaplanet

It's been approximately two decades since mainstream newspapers began their decline. This discourse has pervaded Canada's hypothetical; the government has released a study speculating on what the Canadian democracy could look like in a post-newspaper society. Britain currently has about 200 fewer local and national newspapers than it had in 2005. The picture is equivalent in the U.S. A situation that was once unimaginable has recently become gloomily probable.

Source: Rediff

The weekly print circulation in the United States has plummeted from nearly 60 million over the course of 1994 to 35 million for aggregate print and internet circulation. Horrible as it had been lately, circumstances deteriorated a lot. Though new digital subscriptions have been popping up at The Washington Post and The New York Times since the 2016 election, digital subscriptions and advertising revenues have not offset the industry-wide decline of print ads. And local newspapers around the country have not been nearly as popular on the digital subscription model as the Post and Times have. Once-promising digital-first news websites such as BuzzFeed and Vice have recently missed financial targets and Mashable, estimated at about $250 million in March 2016, eventually sold for under $50 million.

Source: Boise State Public Radio

But then what? Social networking sites enable exchanging information omnipresent and non-stop, but where does that information come from when all the reporters are let go? What happens when the newspaper model—what the government commissioned a study published by the Public Policy Council called "the paradigm of journalistic 'boots on the ground' backed by a second peloton in the office that upholds such sacred principles as verification and balance"—is no longer delivering the content at all? Canadian newspapers have lost three-quarters of a billion dollars in total, classified ads revenue to eBay and Craigslist annually, according to a survey. And from there, slice by slice, the list of advertising losses goes on: "Why would the car fanatic turn to the newspaper's automobile segment when there are countless niche websites with a richer content? Times have certainly changed, there was a time when we used to pick up newspapers just to get in our daily dose of celebrity gossips and Page 3 culture as we used to scour through the entertainment section of the newspapers. However, in a world with IMDb, TMZ and Rotten Tomatoes, the aura of entertainment sections of newspapers have faded.

The role of mainstream media as the last defines mechanism of democracy has been brought to light by President Donald Trump's many snarling attempts to discredit newspapers in both Canada and the U.S., such as labelling the "failing" Times and the Post as "fake news." Combine this traditional American antagonism to newspapers with the expectation of fatal haemorrhage in advertising and you're potentially getting a fatal haemorrhage.

In the face of considerably reduced finances, we need a paradigm change for newspapers; maybe we can't cover every meeting and seek to cover every piece of news. Maybe we need to aim higher and produce more original and exclusive investigative reporting — which can take longer but would have a longer lasting impact. Reader surveys show that more than anything else, people trust the investigative reporting, so it makes no sense to cut back on such big studies. After all, the best stories aren't coming to you: you got to go and find them.

.   .   .