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The author most likely discusses an increased interest in news in order to
To make a case about the shift from newspapers to Internet news, the author must first show that nothing else is responsible for the decline in newspapers' revenue. Hence, he or she mentions that interest in news in general has not declined.
An increased interest in the news alone does not explain the increased use of the internet for news. The passage explicitly states that people read news on the internet because it is free and provides seemingly instant coverage of events.
While the increased interest in news certainly shows that the market is still alive and should be exploited, it does not show that the author's solution (focusing on and improving internet news) is better than any other way of exploiting the market. Hence, it could not have been used by the author for this purpose.
Although we know that youth are reading more news, the passage does not state or imply whether youth specifically are responsible for the decline in newspaper circulation.
The passage states that newspaper circulation has plummeted, i.e., decreased sharply. Therefore, the author cannot use this detail to show the opposite.