It saddens me to say that the demise of printed news is a very real concern, as publications have begun to recognize the web as a powerful tool with more flexibility than print. Words that would have been black and white and read all over are now in full color and only a mouse-click away, and can be updated and corrected within minutes of a development in a story. However, the crisis faced by papers has little to do with journalism and more to do with advertising. Online publications are free because Internet advertising costs are a fraction of their print brethren.
But I don’t believe that all the hard work our newspaper staff puts forth into making “The Current” the best it can be is a waste. I have seen a recent increase in the number of students hidden behind an unfolded paper during lunch and the newsstands have to be restocked more frequently than ever.
Newspapers are the grandparents of the television or web-based news sources many people rely on today. It seems sacrilegious to do away with print news, and the world knows it. If publishers truly intended to convert media to a purely digital form, it would have already been done. The fact that the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal still appear on newsstands, and not just online, is a testament to publishers’ and readers’ respect for print news. The medium cannot be called obsolete; papers print on a daily basis, and so, they are capable of delivering hot news.
This is not to say that digital media should not exist; smartphone news applications, online publications and television channels are perfect for those minute-by-minute updates on breaking news that a paper obviously cannot provide.
But what modern technology can never deliver to readers is the entire paper-reading experience. I relish every moment spent flipping the pages of a paper and take pride in seeing my byline at the top of a printed page. To me, our newspaper unfolds almost like a well-planned story. The hard-hitting news is always on the front page, bold and right in your face. The impact is softened by in-depth, often moving, featured stories about student and faculty achievements, as well as the events and trends that shape our social lives. This continues with sports and arts & entertainment, in the spirit of providing something for everyone. Finally, the paper ends with a few pages of opinions, giving readers the chance to reflect upon everything they’ve just been told and consider their own feelings about the issues presented.
I feel many others also share this sentiment, but living in a time of momentous change, it is difficult to express one’s affinity for something that seems to antiquated. Yet, I’m confident that print media will not only survive, but thrive, because there is something timeless about a newspaper that society can never deny.