On Wednesday March 7, 2012, newspaperdeathwatch.com published an article titled, “Pew Report Depicts an Industry in Paralysis.” The article, written by Paul Gillin, talked about a research project conducted by the Pew Research Center and their effort to “study the business issues facing American newspapers.” The reason I bring this up this week is because even after almost two years of being a journalism student at the University of Missouri-Columbia, I’m still not sure who and what to believe. Is journalism dying or is it not? Are newspapers dying or is everything just becoming more internet based?
According to the article, more and more newspapers these days are relying on digital ad revenue in order to stay alive. One of the people who commented on the article, Fred Steiner, said that he created a free online news source for his community, so all the money he makes is from the advertisers on the website. Another quote from the article was as follows:
In general, small papers are faring better than large ones, but all are facing the same specter off print advertising declines that far exceed growth for digital alternatives. -Paul Gillin
I don’t understand if the industry really is in crisis or not. On Tuesday during J2150 Lecture, Liz Brixey gave a short spiel to the class about going into the emphasis area of Print and Digital Journalism. One of the first things she said was that newspapers are not dying, and she seemed adamant to make that extremely clear. It’s very confusing when all the professors and teachers in the Journalism school at Mizzou say that print journalism is still alive and kicking when many other sources are saying the exact opposite.
I’m curious to know if it is really still worth it to teach print journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia. At this stage in life, everything seems to be becoming technology this and technology that. Soon enough Apple will create something called the iBrain and it will just think for us. While technology and the internet has significantly improved the way the world works, it appears to have brought on a hindrance to some old school career choices. But I think we should start to adapt. Do you think it would be more effective to strictly teach digital journalism to students so that they know more about that, with less and less focus on print?
I know there will always be careers available in journalism, but I think some focus areas of journalism are going to last longer than others in the whole scheme of things. Even though there seems to be a large percentage of students going into strategic communications at Mizzou, as opposed to broadcast or photo, this is still the field I think I want to go into. I think public relations will be a good area for me to get into because there are many clients to work with and I wouldn’t have to rely on the existence of print journalism all that much. I’ve given my future a lot of thought, and even though I’m also interested in photojournalism, I see that more of a hobby for me and not a career.
Overall, I still wish I had a more clear and concise answer in regards to what the future of journalism truly looks like, but then again, nobody knows for sure what the future holds.