In Land Of Hi-Tech, Why Do Newspapers Flourish?

Palo Alto is where Silicon Valley started, yet locals eagerly pick up the Daily Post, the Daily News, as well as read PaloAlto-Online. The New York Times investigates why print media flourishes here while regional and national papers struggle.
March 1, 2010, 1pm PST | Irvin Dawid
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It's anything but hi-tech, just old-fashioned newspaper print. While their regional counterparts both lose readers and raise subscription costs, two near-daily papers compete head-to-head at a price that's hard to pass-up - they're free, and one doesn't even post its news on-line. The NYT technology journalist takes a break from reporting on the likes of Google and Yahoo and investigates why folks are reading newsprint.

"At a time when many cities struggle to support one newspaper, Palo Alto has three: The Daily Post, The Daily News, which began publishing in 1995, and The Palo Alto Weekly, which has a daily online edition and has been around since 1979.

"It is phenomenal to go into a coffee shop in the morning and see people reading local newspapers," said Ted Glasser, a professor of communications at Stanford. "These are manageable newspapers. You can read them in 15 or 20 minutes."

Still, all three newspapers say that they are profitable and that they are here to stay.

There are many reasons Palo Alto enjoys such a relative wealth of news coverage. It is affluent and has a highly educated, civically engaged population. Its pricey real-estate market and other high-end businesses provide a relatively strong advertising base, even during a recession."

Thanks to David Price

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Published on Monday, March 1, 2010 in The New York Times - U.S.
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