Food for Thought

Food for Thought

The Dying Art of Newspapers

By Erin Gardner

I am Erin Gardner, ‘The Seton Connection’s’ online editor, bringing to Seton, “Food for Thought”, a bi-monthly philosophical column.  My hope for this column is to introduce thought-provoking issues and to stimulate conversation.  Welcome and relax!

In the age of iPhones, Macs, interactive televisions, and Google Glass, online fanfiction is preferred over books. Many teenagers often call Netflix “bae” and any news that is not featured on Twitter is only seen by parents.

This week’s topic: The Dying Art of Newspapers.  Newspapers are often mentioned as a dying art because it is made of paper that you can smell and touch and not gorilla glass that glows.  The paper doesn’t bring instant gratification, it brings pages that can be highlighted, dog-eared, and kissed.  The front covers can be worn and still be beautiful.  Despite the comforting feeling of holding a newspaper and perusing through the pages, most people get their news digitally.

It is ironic that this piece focusing on the values of paper is brought to you on a computer screen.  I apologize.  However, the same principles can still be applied.  The newspaper, online or hard-copy, does just that; it presents news.  It presents peoples’ lives, it tells stories, and it can make people cry, cringe, and care.  Hopefully ‘The Seton Connection’ will make you wipe away a tear of the fond memories or look away in embarrassment of that awkward group photo of you.  The paper matters because the information it presents matters.

This argument raises questions surrounding the profession of journalism.  Where does journalism go if newspapers are obviously a thing of the past?  Are news anchors or reporters on Twitter the only way to go from here?  Thirty-five years ago, floppy disks were everywhere and claimed to be a sacred way to save data and offer a cooler escape from paper.  Have you seen a floppy disk lately?  Have you seen the separate machine that plugs into the computer to work a floppy disk lately?  Although the format may change, the information is still distributed.  The same is true with news reporting.  There are e-zines popping up everywhere about music, feminists, and celebrity couples. The people behind those articles, those words that were written are by reporters with a journalistic background.  The same e-zine may actually have journalistic reporting about world or national events that are informative and well-balanced.  Similarly, the people behind the articles of ‘The Seton Connection’ are reporters that want to write and create with journalistic standards.  So, although we may have fun and trendy articles and columns, we will also feature stories deemed more newsworthy.

Paper may not be convenient for some because computers are more accessible, but the presentation of news is still necessary.  News matters because the people featured in the news matter, the events matter, and the information matters.  It is important.  Perhaps, the newspaper and journalism isn’t such a dying art after all.

2 thoughts on “Food for Thought”

  1. I agree! I’ve never been much for newspapers, but something can definitely be said for having a physical book in your hand!

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