Stuff recently published an (accurate) article on a phenomenon they described as shrinkflation.

This is the practice of manufacturers combatting rising costs by maintaining their historic nominal prices and packaging but reducing the amount of contents.

They gave numerous examples, such as Beehive matches in which the unchanged matchbox now contains 45 matches instead of the traditional 50, or a Cadbury’s block of chocolate decreasing in size by 10%, and so it went.

Their one glaring omission however, was Stuff’s own product, namely daily newspapers. In the face not so much of increased production costs but instead a near collapsed demand thanks to electronic instant news, their newspapers today are at best half the size of 25 years ago.

This is not “shrinkflation” but instead dwarfism; unmatched in its degree by any other product.

I’m a newspaper addict and deeply regret this phenomenon but must resign myself to their inevitable and imminent disappearance, a world-wide phenomenon.


Bob : as a former Press employee , I can assure you that ” shrinkflation ” of our newspapers began long before they converted from broadsheet format to tabloid . The standard paper thickness was 45 grams per square metre until the early 2000’s . To save money they transitioned to 42 gram paper . And now , 40 gram … tissue paper … very hard for the printers to not ” ghost ” the colours from one page through to the other side of each sheet .

Inevitable, imminent and well-deserved. NZ newspapers are rubbish (“the science is settled”) and some of their overseas colleagues, even the NYT, are not much better. The Times remans a good read, as does the WSJ.

On the flip-side of that are the independent investigative reporters, feature and article writers who can no longer sell their work, as few of the newspapers want to publish the truth any more. Or aren’t allowed to, because of the money that they accepted from the government.

I was an avid reader of newspapers for decades. The Herald the Dom and the Press were my favorites. A brief stint in GB soon had me addicted to their many quality broadsheets and sometimes hilarious tabloids, the latter complete with pg 3 girls displaying mammaries that would impress a Fresian breeder. Samantha Fox being the Belle de jour.
Great, great days of journalism, earnest, intelligent, also irresponsible and reckless; bloody marvelous.
And now gone forever.

Yeh but at least the quality of Beehive matches or Cadbury chocolate has remained consistent!

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