The printed page today is somewhat of a dying art form. Many bookstore chains across the country have been forced to shut their doors due to insufficient customer demand, as well as many newsrooms. This is due to the fact that information and media has taken a generally digital direction. While the idea of closing bookstores saddens me (there’s nothing I love more than spending an afternoon among the shelves), I can’t say I feel the same way about newspapers.
While journalism and the sharing of information is a vital aspect of society, I believe the digital direction is a positive one. Just as it is a journalist’s job to keep up with the times when reporting a story, they must also change and adapt to meet the ways which people see and share these stories. Digital media meets a wider audience in addition to spreading news quickly and efficiently.
Let’s be honest, everyone and their grandmother is on social media today (and that’s not an exaggeration). Whether you personally enjoy social media or not, you cannot dismiss the way it influences our everyday lives. One breaking news story goes live at noon and the entire country has heard about it by dinnertime. This is why an online presence is so effective for news outlets; when people talk about and share articles it reaches a wider base. Being a contributor for several online publications myself, it amazes me how far my voice reaches through simply sharing my articles. Social media is crucial to the success of my journalism.
There has been some concern expressed that, with the decline of print media, there will be an inability for student journalists to get their voice out there and to let themselves be heard. Society’s shift towards digital media isn’t necessarily killing anything, it is simply shaping and evolving the ways in which we receive news and perceive the world around us. The ever-changing nature of technology may seem daunting at first glance, but in reality it is beneficial for the progression of society.
Students can and should continue to share their voices and opinions on different matters, they just need to keep working to find ways to reach the largest and most receptive audience. People will keep listening to your voice, you just need to make sure it is able to be heard. Print media is, whether for good or bad, no longer the best way to do that.