What if the Future is not All Digital?

Trends in U.S. newspapers’ multiplatform readership

Authored by: Hsiang Iris Chyi , Ori Tenenboim

The Routledge Handbook of Developments in Digital Journalism Studies

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138283053
eBook ISBN: 9781315270449
Adobe ISBN:


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The web has been publicly available for more than 20 years, and U.S. newspapers’ online experiment has been going on for nearly as long. Motivated initially by high hopes for the potential of the internet, newspaper firms have expended substantial resources digitizing and distributing their content through a number of channels. Underlying newspapers’ sustained enthusiasm for a digital future is a long-time (but unchecked) assumption that print newspapers are dying (Picard and Brody, 1997; Penenberg, 2004; Chyi et al., 2012). The recent recession, which accelerated declines in print circulation and advertising revenue, reinforced such a belief. It is against this backdrop that U.S. newspapers, especially national and metro dailies, became more determined than ever to complete their transition from print to online. They slashed resources for the print edition, laid off print staff, and reduced printing and delivery schedules while expanding digital operations, hiring multimedia reporters and social media editors, and requiring journalists to reinvent themselves digitally. “Digital first” (Paton, 2010) has become a mantra, a goal, and a path leading to the future.

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