Are Newspapers Dying…Or Have Newspapers Already Died?

Since we are focusing on print media this week, I thought it would be an appropriate time to blog about the newspaper industry, to which I have had a personal connection to since my freshman year of high school. At the beginning of my freshman year of high school, I became a reporter for my high school newspaper, The Orange & Black, and a reporter for the local student section of my hometown newspaper known as The Student Sun. I had always been good at English and a daily reader of many newspapers, both print and online (although there were still very few at this time compared to today).

I continued to be involved in the newspaper during my sophomore year of high school as a reporter for both The Orange & Black and The Student Sun. My passion grew stronger for understanding the newspaper process, editing for publications, and continuously brainstorming for article ideas to bring to the staffs.

My junior year of high school changed everything and made my passion for newspapers grow faster than ever before. I became Editor in Chief of The Orange & Black and Features Editor of The Student Sun. Throughout the year, I not only strengthened my writing, but learned and developed the management skills that it takes to organize a staff and publish a continuous newspaper. But aside from learning the basics, I also learned the budget that it took to run a publication or even a section within a larger newspaper.

This was when I noticed the shift to online newspapers and saw the money tree for newspapers begin to die. The Student Sun staff became unpaid and the color and space limitations grew in order for the section to reduce costs. As high school students, we were all willing to “volunteer” and continue this section because it meant so much to us and to many members of our community. But now that I look back on this budget cut, I realize that this was only the beginning of the financial cuts to not only my hometown newspaper, but all newspapers in the United States. 

Since then, I have witnessed several newspapers completely stop publishing, seen and heard about more journalists being unemployed than ever before, and watched the audience that used to support newspapers read them online instead of in print. I believe that this is a sign of the times and how alternative media (or possibly alternative media that has now become mainstream media) have taken over the “old-school mainstream media” of print media.

I see both positive and negative aspects of print newspapers versus online newspapers, but I can honestly say that the recent shift in the newspaper industry changed my life direction and career path. When I entered Manhattanville in 2008, I wanted to be a part of Touchstone as I have and have the chance to be Editor in Chief of a college newspaper, which I also have had the chance to accomplish, but after I graduate in May 2012, I have chosen not to dedicate my career to the newspaper industry. 

Personally, I feel the industry is very unstable and is moving more and more toward being strictly an online publication everyday. So I question…Is the newspaper industry dying or has the newspaper industry already died? What do you think?

I thought this video about the newspaper industry was interesting and funny too! Check it out and comment with what you think about the newspaper industry. We are watching a change in an industry that helped to initiate communication , but now it is up to us to debate what exactly is happening.

Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiic6CTzQg8&feature=related

One comment

  1. I would say that the newspaper industry is well on its way out of the door. However, I do not feel like this is a bad thing at all. People are receiving the exact same news faster, at any time and any where a computer is available, and most of the time it is for free. Also, recycling newspapers is becoming less of an issue. But, no, the industry is not dead yet. There are always going to be the die hard news PAPER readers out there. I do not feel like they will ever completely die out but maybe only be made by order? I don’t know, but I like where things are going personally.

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