Not all bad news about the news

26Jul08

The Economist highlights the fact that while the dismal news about U.S. newspapers seems unending, the story isn’t the same elsewhere around the world. Newspapers are flourishing in developing countries, boosted by rising literacy and prosperity. As people become more prosperous, they care more about what’s happening around them:

The demand for news tends to go up as people enter the workforce, earn more money, invest it and so begin to feel that they have more of a stake in their society. Literacy rates also rise in tandem with wealth. For the newly literate, flipping through a newspaper in public is a potent and satisfying symbol of achievement.

So the media are an essential part of a developed society, because people want to hold on to what they’ve earned and know what’s happening around them.

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