For the six months ending September 2009 the Oregonian circulation is down over 12%, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. This is a steeper drop than the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, the Detroit Free Press, even the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Are newspapers in America really finished? It would seem so. And what will we do without them? That now becomes the most relevant question.
Without the Oregonian, for example, the state would be rudderless. People would not know how to vote. People would never learn of politicians’ malfeasance in office — not even 20 years late. Who would hold elected officials of the Republican Party accountable? Where would people get the news? What would people do on Sunday morning without a big, soggy edition of the Oregonian to read? How would advertisers connect with their customers? How would car dealers advertise that next big deal? How would people laugh without a dose of the funnies?
It will be a sad day for Oregonians when that last paper runs off the press. And a sad day for America.