Newspapers, libraries keep on truckin’

Many times I have heard the end of newspapers is near. The same has gone for libraries, book publishers and magazine makers.

Unlike the move from horses to mechanized farming or livery hauling to trucks, which lasted about 15 years, the end for these things is still over the horizon.

It was said 20 years ago, and still is, that news and information consumers would become their own editors, choosing to pick through the exploding myriad of information sources available to them on the internet, and legacy publishers would die off without so much as a whimper from their users.

We have seen our markets change, but Western Producer readership has stayed on par with the number of professional farmers in the marketplace (almost everyone in the business reads it).

Demand is related to supply. While there is far more material available to today’s prairie farmer, the quantity of quality material delivered at the right time and in the right format has fallen over the past two decades.

The loss of funding for extension agricultural specialists at post secondary institutions and from governments, the loss of the prairie pools and consolidation of the grain and livestock companies have conspired to reduce the flow of impartial, useful information.

Publications like ours fill some gaps in that regard but in daily newspapers, the public support for journalism has been on the wane for more than a dozen years.

However, a new American president is changing that. His attacks on what he calls mainstream media’s “fake news” have backfired, boosting subscribers to those reputable news sources he vilified.

The New York Times, along with hundreds of other national and local newspapers across the U.S., have seen subscriptions rising as the public looks to trusted sources for real information.

It appears that Saskatchewan’s libraries are not a thing of the prairie past either, as the governing Saskatchewan Party found out in the past few weeks.

Rural and urban protests pushed massive library funding cuts back off that government’s chopping block this week.

When it comes to quality information, delivered in the right time, in the right place, the public can be trusted to choose what it needs.

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Comments

  • Harold

    Trump’s personal attack on the “fake news” was known by a large group long before he ever uttered the words. Trump is only one man. “Don’t believe everything that you read in news papers” was a warning long before Trump ever said it and TV was included. Extra sales of the “fake news” do not make their reporting any more truthful and not evidence truth The National Inquirer was dependent upon “fake news” and people bought it just for the entertainment. “Fake news” has been known to me since the early nineteen eighties but I had been using less polite terms instead. (thank you Trump) Trump was only one man of influence with the character and courage to call them out and to say it publicly. “Big Brother” TV shows have ratings too and it is absurd to view them other than fake programming. “Fake news” along with “big brother” and such is nothing more than elaborate and fanciful entertainment. If you want to witness a room full of intellectual dumb-asses just listen to the questions that the reporters ask at press release briefings and then see what News becomes.
    News of today is only what a highly controlled, family owned, nationwide syndicated teleprompter says it is. (fake news) The WP is not immune to fake news and by this I am not claiming that you are the fake news. I do wonder why an Article is not considered complete these days without taking a shot at Donald Trump. I am sure that Donald Trump would be tickled to know that he adds color to an otherwise lackluster opinion.

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