Battlepanda: The Decline before the fall


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Decline before the fall

Interesting graph about the fall in newspaper readership I found in "Bowling Alone" (review will be forthcoming on Monday). Sorry about the hideous image quality -- I've got no scanner and taking a digital photo of a book page does not yield the best results. So you basically have to take for granted that the graph says what I say it says. Or else find a copy of the book and go to page 219.
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The x-axis on the graph is time in 5 year increments from 1970 to 2000. The y-axis is newspaper readership in percentages. Each of the four lines represent the newspaper usage pattern of a generation -- the top line being those born before 1920, the next one those born between 1929-1945, the next those born between 1946-1960 and bottom line those born after 1960. As you can kind of make out, this graph suggests that newspaper usage is remarkably stable (or at least averages out) along the lifetime of a user, but have dropped steadily from generation to generation long before the threat of electronic content came along.

I wonder what this graph looks like if it is extended to 2005.