My Rendezvous With Print Newspapers

During the past few weeks I have been documenting the methods in which I received the news. Upon discussing print media in class, I became reinvigorated with the idea of reading an actual newspaper. Three weeks ago, I woke up early to be the well-read local who knows the barista’s name and reads the paper over a cup of coffee and a chocolate croissant. My new habit however ended quicker than my new-found optimism. Not only did the idea of driving at 7:30 in the morning lose its romanticism fairly quickly, but the cost of a fresh latte and a copy of The New York Times or Austin-American Statesmen denoted to a total of around $30-40 after a week–minus the chocolate croissant.

With these extra expenses, and being a college student with rent and plenty of bills, my new habit’s ending came gracefully. I reverted back to my old routine of scrolling through BBC News and the New York Times. Occasionally, I will listen to BBC News Live and NPR at night whilst studying, and check Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and the Daily Show with Trevor Noah. I also noticed that I will watch news clips from MSNBC and CNN depending on the story or the insight I feel I am missing.

I recognized that my media habits are definitely in line with my generation. All of the news I receive is either through my smartphone or laptop. However, this affords me the great convenience of being able to check the news constantly, throughout the day, and from a variety of sources. In fact, during the week I read a newspaper, it did not keep me from checking my phone as usual for news updates. The new iPhone news app is personalized with my interests and enables me to read everything from “How the Journalist Who Broke the News of World War II Got Her Scoop” to “Haiti: US Interference Wins Elections.” I am also able to retrieve these stories immediately, opposed to gracelessly spilling an espresso across an all-consuming mass of newspaper in attempt to continue a story on page C3.

I can get any type of information off of my phone and computer, and more, than I could get from my coffee-covered five dollar paper. Upon reflecting on my own experience with the print media, I believe that print newspapers will not only continually reach the problem of a decreasing circulation, but eventually, its lack of affordability will cause its stories to get lost in the mass of other news sources so many apps and websites contain. While there was a certain charm to connecting with a newspaper as so many others before us have done, I believe that it is perfectly consistent with media history that our current technology take over the printing press, just as the printing press took over tedious copies made from quill and ink. I have concluded from my experience that it isn’t collective disinterest in the news decreasing print media’s profits, but a desire for multiple sources of information in a single convenient place.

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My Rendezvous With Print Newspapers

2 thoughts on “My Rendezvous With Print Newspapers

  1. Your morning paper experience made me laugh, and I commend you for your effort!

    Mostly I just wanted to add how I agree with you about the demise of the print newspaper. Prior to our in-class discussion, I sincerely had hope for the print newspaper industry. I thought it was a staple of media, and that it had such a critical role in history, how could we *dare* discuss it’s certain end. However, just in the attempt we made as a class to find a solution, it seemed as it was the final nail in the coffin. If we really could not find a satisfactory solution to enable newspapers to continue as they are, maybe it is just a sign that there is not a solution.

    I now concur with your idea that it is simply the next step in media evolution. Arguably, the internet and social media could possibly have a bigger impact on “media history” than even the newspaper did. So much change has occurred with media in recent decades – even just years, that print newspapers are relatively obsolete. They are slower, and less detailed. They cost more money than most other forms of news and solely give one side of the issue. As you said, with information so much more readily available on the web, sadly, print papers are not a part of most of our daily rituals any more.

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  2. I completely agree that I love the idea of reading a newspaper, but also that it is certainly easier said than done. This class made me think about the pros and cons of local news versus national or international news. Reading a local newspaper is great to help you stay really plugged into your community. My parents still get newspapers sent to them from their hometowns sometimes because they grew up in very small towns, and everyone read the newspaper to know what was going on around them. I thought about my relationship to Georgetown and Austin, and realized that if I wanted to know about an event I would google it, and that if there was an event I didn’t know about, it would be in the daily emails we get from Southwestern. That is the extent of my relationship with Georgetown, Texas. I don’t feel motivated to connect with a community I’ll be leaving in year.

    This is another characteristic of our generation, is that the ways we connect with our community are few and far between. We use the internet to connect, but soon I think people will realize that this leaves everyone pretty isolated. But at the rate things are going, we will lose the newspaper before this happens.

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