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Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Newspocalypse now

Mike Orren, Nieman Lab, Dec 19, 2023

"Nothing sobered me more than a recent University of Pennsylvania study in which 2,529 people were offered free, no-strings-attached digital subscriptions to major local newspapers," writes Mike Orren. "Forty-four people redeemed those free subscriptions. Not 44%…1.7%. We can't give it away." As he says, 2024 probably represents the end of the local newspaper industry, and the beginning of the end for most of the rest. This is significant because trends in education have pretty reliably followed trends in media by about ten years. Closed access classes and tuition revenue may feel pretty secure right now, but in a decade the bottom will be falling out of the market and higher education will be in the same shambles the news industry is today. "We will learn that the less something looks like what we have now, the better chance it has of being the thing on the other side of death."

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