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Newspapers no longer provide social currency
Jack Shafer of Slate has written a commentary in Business Spectator about the demise of the print newspaper. In essence he maintains that the social web (Facebook, etc.) has replaced the newspaper’s traditional role of social currency.
Not that long ago, the daily newspaper was an indispensable coiner of social currency, and it gave its readers piles of the stuff in each edition. The phrase, which comes from sociology, is often used to describe the information we acquire and then trade â€“ or give away â€“ to start, maintain, and nurture relationships with our fellow humans.
Take, for instance, the voluminous results of newspaper sports pages. Terrific for sports fans, of course, but the sports pages have been used to grease sales calls, break ice on first dates, and fuel water-cooler bonding for a century. Even folks who don’t care for sports skimmed the sports pages for a little something about the games and athletes so they could engage in essential small-talk.
For as long as anybody can remember, the newspaper has been the primary info-hub through which people interacted. Oh, people might have talked to the shoe-shine man or their broker about what they heard on the radio or saw on television, but nothing could beat the newspaper as a source for socially lubricating conversation. How many times have you heard a conversation start, “Didja see that article …”?