Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Future Of Newspapers

Constant Change
By Christine Levitin-Breyette

The era of newspapers will soon be extinct as the era of technology becomes more advanced. I rarely read the newspaper to find out the news of the day. The Internet is my main source of information for the latest and greatest news stories because the information changes constantly throughout the day.

As I recently found out, I am not the only college student who doesn’t read the papers for news. When asked if they read newspapers, three Marymount Manhattan College students answered simultaneously, “No.” It was only Steph Johnson, also an MMC student, who replied, “Sometimes I do.” Megan Cohl and Johnson both said that they regularly watch the news on television, Cohl adding, “I watch the morning news and when I get home, the evening news.” It was MMC student Cameron Burke who mentioned that the way he keeps up with the news is by word of mouth. Johnson also added that she gets her news from the AOL headlines.

Even people who work in the news industry realize that it is coming to an end. Over the summer I worked in my local television news station, WPTZ News, Channel 5 in Plattsburgh, NY, two days a week during the evening news and the late night news. I was amazed to see that stories that had been announced hours earlier were being reused on the evening news shows. I actually got into several discussions with a 20-year veteran of the industry who was all too aware of the fact that news programs are losing viewers.

One very big factor can be attributed to this sort of demise. Newspapers and news programs are losing their audience because of a lack of instant gratification. College students are too busy with classes, books, studying, social lives, and jobs to spend an hour or two each morning thumbing through the New York Times looking for that particular topic, or piece of news, that might be of interest to them. Instead, they can just jump online and “Google” it in the news section.

The world is changing at an accelerated speed and the only thing we can do is to change and adapt with it. I wonder if all of this change is really a good thing, though? For example, one of the first modes of transportation was horse drawn carriages and that has all changed and we now use automobiles, which are destroying our planet every second of the day. Another example is cassette tapes and VHS tape that everyone used to own to listen to music and watch videos. The tapes were in very durable cases that were basically indestructible. We now have CDs and DVDs that are completely ruined if you get a microscopic scratch on them. However, now they are coming out with eco-friendly cars, the “going green” campaign, and iPods to store your movies and music safely. So, even though change may not always be good, it is certainly a comfort when things seem bad.

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