Print journalism hasn’t kicked the bucket just yet

This week, we asked you, our readers, if you thought print newspapers were dying. About 86 percent of you said yes. We expected that. (We admit, we might have asked you this as a trick question.)

Any time this comes up in conversation, there is an overall sense of cynicism. Some would say newspapers are already dead — the Internet and mobile devices have already taken it all away. The common counter-argument is that we aren’t dying — we’re just evolving.

Print has already evolved itself by getting rid of small fonts that required magnifying glasses, adding color and adding catchier headlines. But it seems that print is changing again after the birth of the Internet.

Applications (apps), smartphones, high-speed data and videos are part of our lives, similar to how newspapers were when they began. Some traditional newspapers have gone digital. Creating their own apps, eye-catching websites and specific advertising, where your daily routine online is recorded and then generated advertisements catered for you from site to site.

Our stance is this: The circulation for print newspapers in the U.S. may be down, but the principles behind print journalism are still alive and well.

The thing is, it’s the medium and the business model for which journalism is traditionally practiced through that is low in the numbers. However, articles are still being published on the Internet and through mobile means.

We will bet you on this: The job market for journalists will continue to live on for the ages after us. At the core, we still need reporters; we still need people who fully grasp the importance of reporting fairly and accurately.

In the traditional newspaper newsroom, you learn the importance of deadlines and the impact those deadlines have on proper fact checking before the final approval to send off to the printers. In an adapting newsroom, you learn all that plus the necessary skills of storytelling through multiple mediums.

Reported this week in The Signal (on page 6), the current journalism curriculum at Georgia State is being revised to reflect this new business model. The new program will do away with the print and telecommunications concentration and instead implement a multimedia journalism and a media and society concentration. We say it’s about time.

The previous model was far outdated and probably should have been replaced a lot sooner. Journalism isn’t practiced through just print or television anymore. Journalism today requires you to be a storyteller through multiple platforms.

For example, many Georgia State journalism majors will attest to the fact that their internship employers are no longer requiring they have more experience in a skillset over the other. Instead, as tomorrow’s leading reporters, we need to know how to do it all … and fast.

In addition to having to know “a little about a lot” on a variety of subjects and molding ourselves to be versatile journalism skill wizards, the scary reality is that the unemployment rate is steadily rising in our prospective job field, according Georgetown University’s 2015 study From Hard Times to Better Times: College majors, unemployment, and earnings. Whereas there are more encouraging unemployment decreases in fields such as education or physical science, ours stands at 8.2 percent, and it isn’t stopping.

While it may seem like the field is closing in and becoming more competitive — a bigger question remains: Hasn’t the journalism field always been that way?

From day one, and through receiving training in student media, internships and the classroom setting, we know that it has always been a race to get the best and most in-depth story. We simply strive off competition. Furthermore, journalists also strive off of innovation and improvement.

As outsiders looking in, it appears that our print journalism world is dying. But just as we always have, we will continue to embrace those last minute editorial changes, we will accept that our “physical” appearance is changing and we will continue to adapt to how your demand as readers is shaping how we function as news outlets.
But you should know, this isn’t the end for us … it’s only the beginning.