Don't think for a minute that young people don't read. On the contrary, they do, many of them voraciously. But having grown up under the credo that information should be free, they see no reason to pay for news. Instead they access The Washington Post website or surf Google News, where they select from literally thousands of information sources. They receive RSS feeds on their PDAs or visit bloggers whose views mesh with their own. In short, they customize their news-gathering experience in a way a single paper publication could never do. And their hands never get dirty from newsprint.
All true, but what about the information have-nots? All this talk seems to ignore the vast number of people in this country and around the world who are not connected to the net; many of whom are poor and living in the inner cities or rural areas. Given that this is the majority of the world's population, I would hesitate to count traditional information sources out so quickly.
America's past election cycle should serve as a reminder of the influence things like local newspapers and radio still have with large segments of our population. The net's tools are perhaps one form of future info distribution; I think the jury is still out on what the others might be. Counting print out, however, is a big mistake in world which has a long way to go before everyone is 'connected'.