March 11, 2009
The Newseum's Digital News Gallery

The Newseum's Digital News Gallery

Going Digital: The Next Generation of News

Related Video: Digital Newspapers: The New Reality

The list of names on the newspaper tombstone keeps growing as more and more dailies write their own obituaries and thousands of journalists lose their jobs.

The latest casualty: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The paper folds March 17, 2009, after 146 years. Primary cause of death: the Internet. Secondary causes: poor circulation and dwindling advertising.

Those same causes killed the 149-year-old  Rocky Mountain News  on Feb. 27, 2009, and the 126-year-old Cincinnati Post on Dec. 31, 2007. The Post's  "Farewell Edition" carried the headline "–30 –" which in newspaper parlance means "the last" or "the end."

Newspapers in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Tucson barely subsist on life support. Other publications, such as The Christian Science Monitor, The Capital Times in Madison, Wis., and U.S. News & World Report, have given up the struggle altogether and have gone strictly digital. The switch to all-digital for the Post-Intelligencer begins March 18, making it the largest daily in the country to print solely online. In April 2009, the Monitor will publish a print edition only on weekends. U.S. News will stay in print with a monthly magazine but will charge a weekly on-line fee.

Printed news has been dying a slow death for years as more Americans, according to a Pew Research Center survey, get their news on the Internet. The Internet can transmit news faster than any newspaper ever could, and, with the exception of a few publications, content is free. Since 1990, daily newspaper circulation has dropped nearly 20 percent, from 62.3 million to 51 million in 2007.

With news being delivered through cell phones, "smart phones" and portable electronic devices, door-to-door service may soon be a thing of the past. The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press are cutting home delivery to just three days a week.

A new exhibit in the Newseum’s Digital News Gallery explores the next generation of news gathering and dissemination and what effect the changes may have on journalists and the news industry. A seven-minute video produced by the Newseum — "Digital Newspapers: The New Reality" — accompanies the exhibit.

The frequently updated Digital News Gallery, which is an integral part of the Bloomberg Internet, TV and Radio Gallery, also features timely artifacts that explore the impact of digital technology on news

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