Can old people save newspapers?

Pew Internet
And no, I’m not talking about Warren Buffett. I’m talking grandmas, grandpas, all my rapid-ear-hair-growing party people, because Pew’s Internet & American Life Project reported today that as of April 2012, more than half of United States residents over 65 are online. Geezers are on Facebook (34 percent are on it, 18 percent are on every day) and the email (86 percent, 48 percent of those every day), and 70 percent of seniors go online at least once a day.

Earlier this year, Pew’s State of the News Media reported that people over 65 are still newspapers’ most avid consumers, even if their numbers are falling as well.

The most recent Pew research on where different generations get news shows that seniors are also the fastest-growing consumers of news online.

If newspaper publishers figure out how to connect these dots, it could impact attendance at future-of-news seminars for at least a decade.

Related: State of the News Media 2012 shows audience growth for all platforms but newspapers | Seniors increasingly read news online, use social media to stay connected

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  • http://twitter.com/jondonley Jon Donley

    Per-capita newspaper subscriptions have been dropping since the peak in the 1950s.  This was the prime motivation behind Newspapers in Education, the great hope of the 1980s.  Pinning  hope on a dying demographic is a business model fail.  As long as the debate continues to be about print – even as a significant factor – it’s going to cripple journalism.  The debate needs to be about demonstrating the virtue of journalism itself.  Out in the real world, that’s not a given anymore.

  • http://twitter.com/jondonley Jon Donley

    Per-capita newspaper subscriptions have been dropping since the peak in the 1950s.  This was the prime motivation behind Newspapers in Education, the great hope of the 1980s.  Pinning  hope on a dying demographic is a business model fail.  As long as the debate continues to be about print – even as a significant factor – it’s going to cripple journalism.  The debate needs to be about demonstrating the virtue of journalism itself.  Out in the real world, that’s not a given anymore.

  • Howell Murray

    “Rapid-ear-hair-growing party people?” “Geezers?” Offensive.

  • Anonymous

    Say what?   “Can old people save newspapers?”

    They’re the only demographic that offers any hope at all! 1) mostly literate; 2) stable home environment
    3) significant disposable income, and 4) generally financially vested in the local community.