I wrote this a few weeks ago, but it never got posted. The numbers have probably changed, but no newspaper fairy has sprinkled any pixie dust on anyone, that's for sure, given the latest news about layoffs at the Tribune papers, including the L.A. Times.
According to L.A. Observed (via password-protected L.A. Business Journal):
Weekday circulation at the Daily News fell 5.1% to 169,379.
L.A. Times down to 843,432 (or 869,819, depending on who you ask), a drop of about 3.6% to 3.7%.
As an employee of one of these publications, I think what these newspapers do is often vital and entertaining, comprehensive in a way that television news is not -- and simply the vital trunk from which blogs like these form the weaker, more annoying branches.
Ah, the convenience of taking the newspaper with you to the breakfast table, the local Starbucks, even the bathroom -- surely a place no laptop need venture.
And newspapers are changing. They want to be relevant, and nobody has their head in the sand. Nobody's talking about the magazine business closing up shop because people like to read things on the Web for free. All print media, newspapers and magazines alike, is experimenting with the right mix of paper, traditional Web pages, blogs, e-mail, even cell-phone-delivered news, to figure out the best way to grow their news business.
I will say one thing. You will be smarter if you read a newspaper daily. At least you will seem smarter, and that's what counts, isn't it?