For the love of Print
There are two types of people you will encounter when you say you’re a journalism major: the Ridiculer, a person that scoffs at your career choice and the Sympathizer, a person that pities your future.
Their reaction, while both the same, is based off this idea that the print industry is dead.
They will give you their spiel on how technology is the fabric of our society and how books are becoming obsolete. They’ll wish you luck finding a job after graduation, while sporting a smirk on their face because at least they aren’t you.
I mean, with this economy I’m not banking on a job at McDonalds, let alone at any top-notch magazine publication. But to my fellow aspiring journalist majors, don’t fret. Print isn’t going anywhere.
I’m not going to lie. I get all my news online. I don’t read newspapers and the only magazine subscription I have is for the Virginia Quarterly Review. But I’m privileged. I own a laptop and a smartphone – making it possible to check the news online.
Not everyone has this luxury.
There’s this thing called the digital divide where not everyone has access to a laptop/desktop, smartphone or tablet. They rely on newspapers, magazines and others forms of printed media to get their information. No, this is not just happening in the Third World.
It’s happening in our own backyard.
Pew Research conducted a 2012 survey on smartphone ownership and found that amongst whites, blacks and Hispanic adults, about 50 percent owned a smartphone.
That’s just in the United States. It doesn’t account for the countries that don’t have indoor plumbing and must walk miles each day to get their water. Granted, they’re probably not dependent on media as much as we are, since they’re developing countries. But once they reach the point where they’re no longer considered a Third World country, they won’t be reaching for the tablet. They’re going to be grabbing books and newspapers before merging online.
That’s just one reason why I think print will keep on trucking on, besides the fact that it’s been around for centuries and has survived the introduction of TV and radio.
But I digress.
It would be ignorant of me to not see that print is dying, but to say that it is dead is just ludicrous…the rapper. So no, I don’t think print journalism is dead. And no, I’m not afraid of finding a job after college. As long as there are still hipsters with nonprescription glasses drinking herbal tea, there will always be a need for print.