Monday, March 31, 2008

An Obituary for Newspapers

What is the future of newspapers in the age of Internet? Do you still read the newspaper in print form? How will newspaper reading change in the future and what might be the implications for teaching? Check out this article in the March 31, 2008 edition of The New Yorker, “Out of Print: The Death and Life of the Newspaper.” The usual New Yorker cartoon is included. After reading the article, post your comments about where the institution of the newspaper is heading for the future and what all this might mean for other print media, such as magazines? How might our reading habits change as more and more print media transfer to an online format? How will the process of reading itself change? Be sure to respond. This is a critical topic we all need to think about as the newer generations increasingly move away from traditional print sources. The article reports that as of May 2004, newspapers have become the least favorite source of information among the young generation. As educators, we just can’t ignore this topic of reliance on the Internet for news and how this information is accessed and read. So, let’s hear from all of you!
Image is from the article itself found by using the above link.


Tony Ruiz said...

This sounds very familiar, again. Didn't they say the same thing about bookstores when Amazon gained popularity. Everyone was talking about the end of the bookstore, then.

But people are social beings and as such we like things that are tangible. There is something to be said holding a newspaper in the morning over a cup of coco. Gee, you don't have to worry about spilling it onto the computer & ruining it. But seriously, even books have been getting bad press. With the ability of downloading novels onto a screen, even that novelty has taken off.

This is more a question about leadership in the media business. When bookstores felt the Amazon threat, they rebranded themselves and brought in the small cafe. In fact, some newspapers, such as the Hartford Courant and the NY Times, have branched out into offering education services.

The leadership in the newspaper industry need to come up with novel solutions if they are to stay in business. I don't foresee the end of the newspaper, nor do I see the end of a good paperback novel resting in my hands.

Margaret H. said...

I know for myself that I do not read the newspaper that much any more. I need to find something I go right to the Internet. At the same time when I hear of an article that sounds interesting to me I don’t go look for the paper, I look for the article online. It’s so much easier to find everything online for me. I don’t have to what sections to look in or worry about if I still have that part of the paper. I know that I can search for the article using keywords. The best part is I don’t have to worry about getting all of the black ink on my hands.

Just because this is I do things does not mean that newspapers are not going to exists any more. I feel there are still going to be many people who would rather get the entire paper and flip through it by hand instead of online. Not everyone can be online when they want to be reading the paper such as when they are taking a train into work. Overall, I feel that newspapers will still be around for a while.

Sherri said...

People who like to read the paper will continue to read it and those of who do not are happy for the internet. I believe at the end of the day we all make decisions about how we interact with our world. I personally prefer getting my daily news from TV. I like to hold something when I am reading-like a book:)

Life is about choices-the issue with the younger generations is their lack of exposure to different media. For many, the faster and easier the better. The experience of finding a quiet place to read book or the fun in folding the pages of a newspaper may never be experienced by our younger generation. These activities may turn into one of those things that the older people do. As educators, we should ensure that our students are exposed to all types of media. Teachers have a unique relationship students. They get to decide what students should do in the time when they are in their classes and more often than not; students do it. What a great opportunity to diversify your students media portfolio.

Melissa J. said...

I agree with Tony. I remember too when the online stores came up and different online newspapers people were going to worry about what would happen to the printed newspaper. Personally, I do a combination of both printed and internet forms. It all depends what I am looking for. I still do like to read the Sunday paper and our local newspaper in print. However, if it an education or medical article I almost always rely on the internet.
I think not only will this affect our newspapers but what about the textbooks for different classes. I know that one of our book reps has already begun to convert all the teacher resources to an online format as well as an online workbook. I can't help but wonder how long it will take to go all internet based. As someone who teaches in the medical field, I do see the benefit of having internet based articles and books because a lot of the times by the time the book is published the information has changed or there has been modifications.
We will see what the future holds!

lisa t. said...

I don't know if the printed newspaper will become entirely obsolete,but as we've all witnessed in the past 20 years or so, media formats are continuously evolving. (Anyone remember listening to radio stations, vinyl lp's or life before MTV?) I agree that searching the internet is fast and convenient, but I also enjoy perusing the tangible newspaper from time to time. It is at this point, a matter of choice when it comes to receiving information, but I also believe that perhaps environmental issues should also play a role in our decision-making. I haven't researched the issue of which is greener, print or internet, but I do know that when I subscribed to the newspaper, I had a lot of papers for the recycling bin!
I'm not sure if the process of reading will change entirely, but I recently read that using the computer to read is not as effective as using printed materials because you look at or watch the words on a computer monitor instead of reading them.

Sharon Kirby said...

I would make the arguement that perhaps not having a printed newspaper is not such a bad idea. I agree with Margaret, When I want to read about the news...I just look online. Newspapers are so limited in what they can tell you. If you want to know what is happening in Europe, most local newspapers don't cover international news that well. I also see the environmental component of it. I am not sure how much energy and resources we use by printing the newspaper. My favorite is when I go into Starbucks and see people buying a newspaper when there are already ones that have been left behind by other customers...I just can't help but see the wastefulness of it all.
I am not sure what would happen to that industry. I don't believe it will ever truely dissapear, but there are some things that are starting to dissapear because of the digital age, such as the film for certain cameras because it is all digital. I guess we will just have to see how it all plays out.

barbara jarosz said...

I agree with you, Lisa. The environment should play a role in this debate. I have to admit that I am part of the majority of 18 to 35 year olds who do not get their news from print. I immediately go to the Internet for my news for 3 reasons: the environment, convenience, and cost.

When I did subscribe to a newspaper, I found it incredibly wasteful to be cramming my recycling bin with old newspapers when the same information is on the Internet. With all the ads and junk mail that I receive in the mail, I find it pointless to add to that waste by subscribing to a newspaper.

It is also cheaper to get my news online since it's free. Even though newspaper subscripton rates are probably at their lowest now, getting the same informaton for no charge makes sense to me.

It is also very convenient to get my news online. I can get my news any time of day even if I'm in a rush. Sitting down and reading a newspaper just seems more time consuming in my hectic life since I am constanlty multi-tasking. I am definitely a part of the generaton that is constantly moving.

Many of the previous comments have mentioned the value in taking your time and sitting down to read the newspaper, and I agree. It's important to take the time to stop and slow down- I just haven't been able to do it!

gayle said...

I don't think the newspaper is dead just yet. I personally enjoy reading the newspaper on Thursdays and Sundays. I find it easier to read than an article on line. I do agree with the article and think eventually the newspaper will become obsolete because the internet is a more convienient way to locate news in our area and around the world. The newspaper will become a memory, just like 8 tracks, records, VHS and rotary phones.

Alicia H said...

I like reading what everyone else has said, and, as some of you have stated, I am also a non-newspaper reader. I used to get the Wall Street Journal but never really read it and never renewed the subscription. I do enjoy reading our town's weekly newspaper: there's something about the smell of the paper, the flipping and folding of the pages, the versatility of reading it at the table, couch or outside with coffee (ahhh, an ideal world where there's time to do that...). However, if I want to cut a photo out of it I won't: I'll go to the internet instead, find the article with the photo and print it there (if it's something important, like someone I know or a place I've been and want to share with others).
As for becoming obselete, I do not believe newspapers will disappear. Right here in Hartford our Courant is the oldest newspaper in the country! That speaks volumes. Technology will always change and update itself, but some staples will remain.
I do appreciate the environmental issue and recycle all our papers here at our house. Perhaps the big newspaper owners can use the money they don't spend (due to reduced circulation) to devise another method to keep newspaper presence strong? This is a very interesting topic we can follow, just like the books going on computers now...where will this lead us?

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