Why the Paper Persists

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With about a million alternatives that are faster and cheaper and perhaps more efficient, why do people still read their news on actual paper?

Newspapers are still delivered and picked up from front doors every morning. The bill is paid at the end of every month and brand loyalties continue to remain intact. But what happens after the retrieved bundle of sheets is placed on a dining table or a shoe rack? More often than not, it isn’t looked at again let alone perused. While newspapers are intrinsic to almost every household, the main cause of this seems to be the habit of getting a newspaper every day and not the habit of reading. Despite this, while certainly not as popular as they once were, newspapers are still read.

Written news doesn’t have the monopoly over the “stay well informed” market anymore, with news channels, web newspapers, and instant and compact distributers like InShorts. But, despite the technological revolution, there are people who still prefer their current events in black and white. And there are a variety of reasons that are keeping printed papers alive and relevant. The primary reason would be that not only does the paper have more detailed and fleshed-out reports, it has headlines in a slightly bigger font size. This comes in handy when you just want to skim to keep you up to date and fully read a selected few that pique your interest. Additionally, the clear division of sections is extremely useful as between pages 1 and 25, you’ll be sure to get a well-rounded of what’s happening in our dear ol’ world.

Another reason, an important one at that, is how disconnected it is. Mobile phones are essential and beloved but an urge to disconnect tends to follow them everywhere. With a paper, you can consume the contents without one too many unnecessary pop up adds and the absence of a comment section spares you any and all opinions at 8 in the morning (really, the news is enough). Besides, having a peaceful morning routine, being by yourself with maybe a cup of tea and going through the editorial column, sounds nice, doesn’t it?

To add to that, anyone who likes reading would also gravitate more towards a tangible paper, because, well, they read. People who have been consistent consumers also tend to have a specific newspaper they trust and paying for an online version of that seems futile in comparison.  And of course, there lives and thrives a traditionalist in all our, with the never-ending urge to remain a contrarian and stick with the old ways.

The reasons why people still read printed newspapers overlap with why people still read physical books. While they do not carry the allure of fiction, they do have a stronghold over a sizable demographic that takes comfort in the printed words and feel of the paper and the staple habit, if not the news itself.

Naina Priyadarshi Mishra



Naina is, at any given moment, a little bit disorganized. In her spare time, she reads, then reads some more, and writes, then writes some more. She also obsesses over music (especially Taylor Swift's), teen dramas, sitcoms, and art of all kind. A One Direction enthusiast, a somewhat consistent keeper of journal, and she can play guitar (still working on that one).

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