is print journalism dying?

20Jan10

Yesterday was the first day of a new semester for me at the University of Missouri’s Journalism school. As I sat in my first class and the professor went through the niceties of introductions, he recited his resume for us. It was very depressing that about 80% of the publications he had worked as a journalists have folded. Even some of the students in the class had to preface their internship experience with the statement “but that magazine/newspaper is not doing very well” or “has folded.”

Sometimes its hard, getting a degree in something that could be obsolete or replaced with the Internet,  print is dying, that people would rather read it online than turn pages. My parents, while they support me and pushed me to go to graduate school for journalism, have voiced occasional concern about the security of my future career.

To keep my spirits up, though, I remember that while the medium might change, journalism will always be around. Even if everything moves online and we do away with books, magazines, and newspapers on paper, someone will still need to write the content that will be populating the Internet. Those articles and essays and blogs don’t fill themselves. There’s still reporting to be done, interviews to conduct, and sentences that need constructing. Until we can transmit news to the masses telepathically, someone will always be there gathering the news, organizing the news, and putting it out there for the masses to read.

Deep down I don’t believe that print is going to go away, not in my lifetime anyway. It’s still difficult to make a profit off an Internet publication, and despite some of the oldest magazines closing, the Internet, and the recession, the number of magazines launching and surviving is growing. Even if I’m wrong, and I do live to see a day when printing presses are closed for good and everything moves to Kindles and laptops, I don’t believe my job will go away. Someone still has to put together that content, make sure it’s readable and correct. I hope to be one of those people.

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2 Responses to “is print journalism dying?”

  1. 1 Kara "Sky" McGinty

    I’m praying that print sticks around too. It always will in my little home, anyway.

    And you’re quite right, Char, there will always be journalists, even if the mediums shift that drastically.

    But I think there are plenty of people out there who would die for print rather than let print die. Count me in!

    • I will always have print around too. I cannot get used to the e-readers. I can’t even get used to watching TV on my computer, much less read a book or magazine.


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