This is a trend that’s been a long time coming. Newspapers are increasingly more likely to no longer be available on paper.

The latest example: Community newspapers the Keynoter and the Reporter, serving the Florida Keys, will cease print publication in March. They’ll publish exclusively online, and offer more frequent coverage as a result. (The Reporter prints once a week; the Keynoter twice weekly.)

I’ve been following this trend for more than a couple decades; my work since the early-mid 1990s has involved doing journalism about the future of journalism, including the travails of the newspaper industry in the digital age. Print has staying power, and it probably won’t disappear completely during our lifetimes. But just as in Key West, more newspapers in the years ahead will decide that it’s no longer economically viable to publish print editions – transitioning their readers to digital news.

The trick for newspapers is to get people to pay for digital subscriptions. Since there’s so much free news available on the web and on phone apps, consumers have long resisted paying for digital news.

That retirement you envisioned, kicking back and reading the newspaper with your morning coffee? You’ll need to readjust. Get an iPad-like tablet, or upgrade that old mobile phone.

Further reading:

Print editions in Florida Keys to end as focus shifts to digital
Miami Herald
January 30, 2018

Top photo credit: The Reporter/McClatchy Company