With the recent closure of the Rocky Mountain News, it has made many question the fate of traditional print newspapers. An insightful post from PRWeek, titled “Print Closure Hastens Move to New Media,” warns that if other newspapers do not alter their business model quickly, they too might “follow the newspaper into extinction.”
This week I’ve decided to compile a pros/cons list on the switch from traditional print newspapers to online news sources.
Information 24/7: Unlike waiting until the morning to read the latest stories, the Internet has made information instantly available. It has made me wonder, do journalists ever sleep? Take a look at Google News for example, which gives readers the option to search and browse 25,000 news sources updated continuously.
Available in a wide variety of formats: News can be read on a blog or via a Twitter feed; you can listen to news stories on podcasts and online radio programs; and browse through countless search engines.
Accessible to a more diverse demographic: Some people are put off by the newspaper’s traditional format. The wide variety of news formats via the Internet makes information more accessible to people of all tastes and styles. Given they have Internet access…
The forests like it!: While the energy used in powering our computers makes its own environmental impact, at least the burden felt by our forests will be lessened by the disappearance of the conventional newspaper.
Lack of community-focused stories—One of my favorite features of my hometown’s newspaper, The Oregonian, is the community-focused stories; the stories about normal people in my neighborhood doing remarkable things. I can’t “Google” these kinds of stories.
Tired eyes: You know the feeling—hours behind a computer can make anyone’s eyes go crazy.
Eliminates jobs: In the midst of this terrible economy, the last thing anyone wants is to be laid-off from a job; however, when a newspaper shuts down, many people from journalists to photographers and distributors to PR professionals are left jobless.
Crossword: I’ll be honest— The NY Times Crossword is one of my favorite features of any print newspaper. I love sitting down with a cup of coffee and struggling over the daily crossword. It’s a way I pass the time when I’m traveling or waiting for class to start. Trust me, I’ve tried online crossword puzzles and nothing beats the satisfaction of inking your answers on paper.
Credibility? In the PR Newsweek article, “Print Closure Hastens Move to New Media,” it quotes Louis Richmond, CEO of Seattle-based Richmond Public Relations, when he says, “The newspapers have credibility; the blogs are getting credibility, but they haven’t reached it yet.”
What are the pros/cons that come to your mind when comparing a print newspaper to online news? How do you read your news? What are your thoughts on the current state of the traditional print newspaper?