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What Will Seniors Read In A Paperless World?

25 Nov 2008 | | No Comment

Will seniors be left behind in a paperless world? Jonathan Zimmerman thinks so. Unfortunately after marking a valid point — that the dwindling number of newspapers is very bad news for the 72% of Americans aged 70 or older who don’t use the Internet — he goes down the path of dismissing reading news on the Internet as being inferior to reading news in a newspaper. It’s a slippery slope when you go down that path because all you’re really doing is expressing your preference for, and comfort with, the status quo.

He redeems himself somewhat by making a nice suggestion to conclude his opinion article:

So I have a modest proposal: As newspapers move to online-only formats, they should also spearhead a nationwide volunteer effort to supply readers for senior citizens. To be sure, thousands of Americans already read the paper to elderly neighbors and family members. But this service will become ever more critical in the coming years, as more and more news outlets shrink or cancel their print editions.

The next time you visit an elderly friend or relative, bring your laptop. You’ll expose her to news events and trends. In exchange, if you pause to listen, she’ll give you the deep wisdom that too often eludes our digitized world.

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