images.jpegHe has an interesting article today and it includes some reasons I haven’t heard before.

1. Craiglist : Obviously a big one, because classified ads were once the mainstay of local newspaper advertising revenue. Once Craigslist siphoned off most of that, it put pressure on everything else. The irony? Craig Newmark still runs his company as a lean community-friendly ungreedy operation. …

2. Google

3. Internet-phobia

4. The “Bill Simmons” effect

5. Unions

And here’s one that I’m convinced is important but never discussed: recycling. That’s what caused me to drop all my newspaper subscriptions. It’s too much work to bundle them, tie them and put them in bags. If I don’t get it just right the recyclers won’t even pick them up – just leave them by the side of the road. Overall, newspapers were not worth the trouble their disposal caused. I’ve never seen it mentioned, but I bet a lot of people feel like this.


  1. Another aspect of the recycling issue is that it is only a palliative to the problem of killing trees that produce oxygen, polluting the atmosphere (paper making spews acid into the air) and clogging landfills. Better than to mitigate the problems of paper is to eliminate its use altogether for a net social gain.

  2. Recycling is not as painful everywhere as it sounds like it is where you are. I don’t have to do anything to my newspapers; newspapers, magazines, junk mail, paper of any kind, cardboard, glass, cans, and plastic all go into one big wheeled container, just like my garbage container only blue. The recycling truck comes by and can latch onto it and dump it, allowing the truck to be operated only by a driver. Sorting is done mostly mechanically at the recycling site.

    Maybe it’s a West Coast thing, but I haven’t had to bundle newspapers in years.

  3. We too here in North Texas do not presort and this allows large recycle containers to be used as Sherri says. When we moved here after living in San Jose, Ca where recycling was started years ago with some sorting but not as onerous as you seem to be required to do.
    At the time I thought that the lack of sorting should a laziness on the part of our citizens. However some 5 years later I now believe it allows all but the most uncaring families to easily join the recycling movement.
    Many weeks I do not have enough trash to put out that container but I always have a full recycling container each week.

  4. 1. “Bill Simmons” effect is a big one. But, the fact that you came up with it, and I couldn’t have without your help, tells me that Bill Simmons isn’t just a normal guy off the street. He must have had previously undiscovered ability, as did you, Paul. That talent you now use to my benefit, in this case, in seeing the wisdom of the author you quoted.

    2. The biggest problem with the traditional press is their slowness in rethinking their entire business model.

    3. Physical waste in the newspaper business is for me was, as the others have said, the final straw that pushed me to cancel paper (thought not all magazines). I now use a kindle and receive some online subscriptions.

  5. We dropped our print ads completely after using them for years. The reason? Consumer response dropped off completely. Many folks still read papers and buy papers but from what we’ve seen they don’t even glance at the ads. Indeed I have not used either newspapers or the phone book… save for within the fireplace.

  6. I don’t think the “Craigslist Effect” is as severe as the article makes out. There have been printed home/apartment finders, car finders, and local papers serving up ads for local singles, small stores, etc, for years… and the newspapers hummed right along.

    It’s the NEWS, guys. When people are satisfied that they can get the NEWS they want, on a timely basis, from other convenient sources, they’ll give up on the papers. Right now, papers are still convenient enough for them… they’re delivered to your door or available on every street corner, and you can throw it out when you’re done at no cost to them. Change *convenience*, and you’ll finally put the last nail on the coffin of printed newspapers.

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