According Christopher Zara, writing for theInternational Business Times:
In 1989, the number of newspapers with weekly science sections was 95. Today, that number is down to 19, according to the Columbia Journalism Review. That’s a big drop, even for one of the fastest declining industries in the country.
To me - and not just because I write about science–this decline doesn’t reflect what I’ve seen as a growing interest in science and general geekery. My sense of this growing affinity for science isn’t just picking up the sound of my own echo chamber; in his story, Zara quotes a Wall Street Journal editor making quite a similar observation.
People who write about science and who write about it well tend to be specialists, and specialists cost more than an on-the-ground generalist just out of college and desperate for a job in the ever-shrinking print journalism job market. And evidently advertising dollars have something to do with the decline in newspaper sections addressing science. I’d also suggest an obvious reason: Newspapers suffer from another malady, a certain viral affliction that’s hit the print world hard. Sad to say, I’m a part of the contagion now.