RIP to the print newspaper industry

Photo illustration by Jack Lambert

Photo illustration by Jack Lambert

Kaelen Sauriol, Staff Reporter

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If you are reading this, congratulations—you are not the majority. Maybe you are my friend, my mom or someone who saw this paper on the bench you were about to sit on so you picked it up. However, it is more likely that I snapped an artsy photo of this article with either a Gingham, Juno and Lark filter and posted it onto my social media.

The nostalgic hipster inside of all us longs for a rainy morning alongside a strong cup of black coffee and the local newspaper. Realistically, most of us wake up and know it’s raining because everyone just snapchatted it. You grab your K-Cup espresso and rest your phone against whatever is available to watch YouTube videos, and slowly let the fluorescent hue of a screen wake you up.

According to the Pew Research Center of Journalism and Media, in 1980, around 62 million people received a paper daily; but, in 2016 they estimated that only 35 million people received a paper. That is almost half—HALF.

Print media has declined. Because of this decline, the industry around print media has evolved into a more digital presence; many now have turned completely digital while others only print a Sunday issue or have a bi-weekly release. Nylon magazine, known for edgy and controversial edits announced that its 2017 October issue would be the last in print. This magazine is now completely online and although it holds the same content, there is a difference. I used to get so excited to get my subscription every month in the mail, yet now I just get an email reminder amidst the junk mail tab. Nylon is not the only of its kind to make this switch. Regardless of their reasons why, this is likely to become the new norm.

So I ask, why is there such a strong hold on print media when no one really reads it? Why can we groan about composting on campus yet demand for our news to be printed on paper? It is because the more technologically advanced parts of our lives become, the more we strive for the opposite. I love listening to podcasts and National Public Radio in the morning as I walk to class, but I only read hardback books; hand me a kindle and I will dislike the book on the principle that I can’t feel the pages beneath my fingers, I can’t physically connect.

In a world of virtual reality, five-second photos, and social media celebrities, where does print media fit? Is there a connection between digital news and the “fake news” our president groans about online? Are the eye-catching, sensationalistic headlines of digital news real news? “Fake news” is nothing but keen marketing, the dependence of the less educated, and the focus on the capitalist incentives rather than the truth. Maybe fake news has been perpetuated by the mass amount of media online. Tap an app and your opinion will be validated by at least one news source.

As someone who works on a newspaper on campus, I see the importance of printed, hard, crisp media. I still need a tactile news source in my life. Maybe I am a minority in this opinion, but it is something to consider: What role does print media have in an era dominated by the online?

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RIP to the print newspaper industry