: The Pew Internet & American Life center releases no end of great, if sometimes frightening, studies of the online us. Take a look at this chart from the latest, which looks at the technology and media consumption of relatively techy segments of the population. They asked which of these media it would be “hard to give up.”

Note poor ol’ print down at the bottom of the list. Most would sooner give up newspapers and magazines than PDAs.

With that in mind, read the post below this…

: UPDATE: Tom Mangan, in the comments, says this is apples/kumquat comparison. Fair enough. Also note that the PDA question was asked only of people who have PDAs; the people who don’t have them would give them up easily. Still, I was depressed at the low number of people who would find it hard to give up their newspaper. That’s the sad part.

  • What’s with the apples/oranges comparison? Newspapers and magazines are specfic media forms, while all the rest are general means of media delivery that also have important non-media uses. Naturally people will find specific media forms dispensable even while they wish to keep the tools by which such things could be delivered.

  • Agreed. It’s a bit like asking, “Which would be harder to give up – your car or shopping at your favorite grocery store?”
    Obviously people are going to mostly reply “car” (tool) rather than “favorite store” (one activity).
    Really, this seems designed to generate a buzz-number (“Internet outranks newspapers more than 5-1!”)

  • Eric

    I think the physical entity of the newspaper is quite easy to give up. It’s messy, difficult to use, and you can’t f…. link. On the other hand, newspaper makes arts and crafts less detrimental to your kitchen table.
    Newspaper content on the other hand, much more important than 99% of all blogs.

  • Tim

    According to the chart, these results were from a survey taken more than a year ago, in October, 2002. I’d imagine those numbers have slipped even a point or two more since then.
    On Tom Mangan’s point, I think he’s right, but there is a tougher issue at the heart of newspapers’ slippage: for more than 150 years, the newspaper was the cheapest and most convenient delivery vehicle for the in-depth journalistic and commercial information that consumers wanted. How do we convince consumers that a newspaper — essentially a printed database of vital information — is better than an electronic database of the same information (and more)?

  • Perhaps part of the reason so many people were willing to give up their newspaper is that they reckoned they could give up their newspaper without really giving it up, since one can read most newspapers online.

  • Don

    Congratulations! Pew just failed basic statistics class. The “24” rating that PDAs get in the “all” category is simply the average of the four groups’ responses, but it is not weighted by the size of the groups. i.e. even though the “young tech elites” are only 6% of the repondents, their rating of the PDA counts just as much as “the rest”: 70% of the respondends! For these ratings to be valid for the population as a whole, the rating of “the rest” should count 11.6 times as much as the “young tech elites” rating.
    Still, even weighted properly, Newspapers didn’t do so well.

  • Sigivald

    I could never give up my newspaper… because I already don’t read the local waste of newsprint.

  • Katherine

    Don, do you know the sample size among each group for the PDA question? I don’t know that the 24% is necessarily an unweighted average; there are going to be more PDA users among the tech-savvy groups, and since the question was only asked of PDA users, the tech-savvy groups will weigh more heavily for that question than for questions asked of everyone.

  • Mr. Davis

    Giving up my newspaper; no more…coupons. Yeah, can’t give them up.