And why did television not destroy newspapers?
Television did not kill off newspapers either, but it contributed to the death of the newspapers that published in the afternoons rather than the mornings. The number of dailies declined significantly in the 1950s and 1960s—and has fairly steadily declined ever since. With rare exceptions, it was the afternoon papers that vanished most quickly. This was not that people simply preferred TV to print but that television was integrated into a broad shift in how people lived their lives.
It was part of the rapid suburbanization of American cities. When people left their offices, factories, and warehouses at the end of the working day, they increasingly left the city behind, often on long commutes, increasingly by car. The whole pattern of living changed and the afternoon newspaper did not fit into it so neatly as before. Meanwhile, the signature evening television news broadcast provided a substitute good enough to make the afternoon newspaper seem to many an unnecessary family expense.
By 2000, throughout the countries of the European Union, according to the Eurobarometer data of the European Commission, more people watched television news every day than read a newspaper daily—except in Sweden where the newspapers had a slight edge. In southern Europe, the TV advantage was great—83% in Italy saw TV news daily, only 30% read a newspaper daily; in France it was 62% and 26% respectively. In northern Europe and in Britain, the TV edge was less dramatic—68% to 59% in Germany, 71% to 47% in Britain, 79% to 67% in Finland.