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The Straits Times (a SPH publication) in Singapore reported that it needs another 2,000 Singaporeans to help distribute newspapers to homes. Every morning, some 600,000 newspapers are distributed to homes by some 4,000 workers.

But there are no takers for these “jobs” even though two newsvendor groups have gone on recruitment drives at job fairs. A hiring attempt in Hong Kah GRC only yielded 4 takers for the 100 positions available. So its a matter or raising the salaries for these positions to make them more attractive.

This is ok if there was a margin for paying for the manual distribution of newspapers. But the reality is that the newspaper business is facing increasing challenges in mature economies. It’s no longer interesting to receive static news, on newspapers that even distributors find un-interesting to distribute.

I am not saying that the newspaper is dead. I am saying that its demographic is now reduced to an on-demand group of older folk who still enjoy picking up the newspaper from the market and reading it over kopi-O.

An agency is doing you a dis-service if it places ads targetting the young in these newspapers.