The decline of newspapers has been widely debated as the industry has faced down soaring newsprint prices, slumping ad sales, the loss of much classified advertising and precipitous drops in circulation. In recent years the number of newspapers slated for closure, bankruptcy or severe cutbacks has risen—especially in the United States, where the industry has shed a fifth of its journalists since 2001. Revenue has plunged while competition from internet media has squeezed older print publishers. This has strictly affected only the United States or the English-speaking markets though there is a large rise in sales for countries like China, Japan and India.
The debate has become more urgent lately, as a deepening recession has cut profits, and as once-explosive growth in newspaper web revenues has leveled off, forestalling what the industry hoped would become an important source of revenue. One issue is whether the newspaper industry is being hit by a cyclical trough and will recover, or whether new technology has rendered newspapers obsolete in their traditional format