The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The death of newspapers.

Newspapers are dying. They are dying much in the way humans die when starved of oxygen, for newspapers are being starved of readers. Quite simply many people seem to be abandoning them.

Now, most people have heard rumours to the effect that newspapers are in decline – but few, I think, are aware of how rapidly that decline is taking place. Today, I stumbled across some statistics from ABC (the circulation assessor), on the Guardian’s webpage. I was stunned by what I read. The figures held the morbid fascination of a car crash and, indeed, are no less dramatic.

I would like you to guess by how much a typical newspaper’s readership has declined between December 2010 and December 2011? Just try to calculate, or intuit, depending on your style, what proportion of people might be abandoning their newspaper.

Well here are the figures: from December 2010 to December 2011, every single British newspaper exhibited a decline in readership. In a comparison between the circulations of December 2011 and December 2010, The Sun lost 6.85 % of its circulation; The Daily Mirror lost 3.64 %; The Daily Star lost 13.61%; The Daily Record lost 5.42%; The Daily Mail lost 1.78 %; The Daily Express lost 4.37%; The Daily Telegraph lost 7.01%; The Times lost 8.79%; The Financial Times lost 14.44%; The Guardian lost 13.11% and the Independent lost a phenomenal 31.69%.

I invite you to consider those figures. To understand them better, imagine if they represented a reduction in your personal income over the last year. How would you feel? Well, each newspaper has lost revenues in proportion to its lost readers. Imagine further, that these losses are going on year in, year out. It is easy to see that newspapers cannot live long, under such declines in readership. What we are seeing here, is, quite possibly, the beginning of the end for newspapers as a medium for the transmission of information – at least in their present form. It won’t take many years of these declines, for newspapers to be unable to support themselves. When that time comes, they will fold, one by one. Perhaps a few will remain after the shakeout...but even that is not guaranteed.

I am left to wonder what kind of world we are building, personal decision by personal decision, such that it may not have newspapers in it, anymore. If not enough readers want newspapers, we simply won’t have any. I am not sure that a world without newspapers is a better one. The Internet, which will, no doubt, be their successor, does not seem to offer the same quality of writing. We could be in for a future in which thoughtful writing of quality is much more difficult to come by. Is that really an improvement?

The future is ours for the making. All we need to do is to buy today what we want tomorrow. If we want our newspaper to exist in years to come...we really should seek it out and buy it, today. Unfortunately, so many people, each year, stop making that decision. Will you?

Posted by Valentine Cawley

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 5:46 PM 


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