Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Future Of Newspapers

News Media: Moving Into The Technological World
By Kelly Lafarga

A recent New York Times article, “Young Adults Are Giving Newspapers Scant Notice,” said that young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 don’t follow the news closely. It also states that only 16 percent of these young adults read the newspaper every day. The question here is not whether young adults aren’t interested in the news, the question is, are the media changing with the times and offering the news in outlets that the young adults are accustomed to?

The article, quoting a study titled “Young People And News” by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, sampled 1,800 Americans. The results were that most young adults don’t follow the news closely. This survey doesn’t sound like it even has much accuracy. In order for it to be a non-biased survey they should have chosen a larger sample. Close to 2,000 people are nowhere near enough. This gives a bigger chance of variability. This can hardly be used to represent the entire parameter, or population.

In a recent interview, 22 year-old Carly Lang said that she “is very much interested in what’s happening in the world, but doesn’t necessarily have the time to read the newspaper every morning.” She said she “spends a lot of her time traveling and using her mobile Internet device.” Perhaps she would keep up with current events if they were easily transmitted to her phone.

We are not as much of a reading society as we once were. Technology is constantly improving and making some forms of media obsolete. Is the newspaper on the way to becoming the next VCR or cassette tape? In many areas, technology is improving and people are moving with it at rapid speed. Why are newspapers taking the slow route in this fast growing cyber world?

Katie Berenson, 23, said, she “isn’t actually interested in watching or reading about the news.” This brings up a new question. Is this decrease in news interest by young adults because of the media in which it’s given or because of how it is actually given? This may seem confusing, but even how stories are written or delivered on the news will affect how young adults take it in. If it is delivered poorly young people won’t respond. Things are becoming a lot quicker in technology. Young adults have very little patience because of it. Sitting through an entire story may seem rather boring for them.

We can also look at this in another way. Because things are growing at such rapid speeds young people must keep up with them. Everyone must have the newest gadgets and newest clothes. Now more then ever consumerism is at a high level. Young adults are so focused on how to look good and how to stay fit that they pay little attention to other things around them, such as the news. Maybe this is to blame for the lack of interest in young adults.

The truth is to some extent, young people aren’t as interested in the news as they maybe once were. There are a lot of reasons why this is occurring. Is technology moving at such a rapid speed that young adults are becoming less patient for things? Is consumerism distracting young people from what’s really important? The answers to these questions aren’t as important as the actual solution to them. What is the news media going to do to create more of an interest for young adults? These young people are our future. Whether or not they take interest in the news is very important for our survival. The Times article states that “the future of news is going to be in the electronic media.” Hopefully, we can see some improvement and change in the near future, for this is a serious problem that must have a quick solution.

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