Editorial: The Paper Has No Issues

Madison Reinschmidt, Editor-in-Chief

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For decades, people have received their daily news in the form of a paper. Each man and woman would start their day with a cup of joe and consume the happenings by opening the hand-delivered newspaper. But, as technology has increased, many believed that the demand for newspapers would dwindle and cause online publications to flourish.

In 1994, journalist Vic Sussman predicts in his article “News of the Wired” that the digital world of journalism would expand and provide new features of practicality. However, his insight lacks one quality—recognizing the benefits of newspapers. Although online publications have merit, the classic newspapers remain a the superior form of journalism because of their popularity, nostalgia, and content. Contrary to Sussman’s belief, the popularity of newspapers remains prominent, even twenty-four years after publishing his article. He claims that Americans have “fallen out of love with the old-fashioned kind of paper.” Some may relate, but most people relish the feeling of a crisp newspaper between their fingertips—a feature that an online publication just cannot provide. By calculating the amount of reads gained on the website in comparison to newspapers taken, I soon realized that the student body would rather read paper editions than the Echolier website. This knowledge refreshed my hope for the future of printing publications in all of America.

For older generations, reading the newspaper was a staple of life. While younger generations may have more interest in other forms of journalism, to say that “those ages 18 to 24. . . don’t read the newspapers at all” would be a considerable exaggeration.The trouble with online publications resides in their lack of personality and passion. From a young age, my family members instilled an appreciation for newspapers within me. Whenever I visited my grandparents’ house, stacks of The Buffalo News were found scattered around the floor. We used papers to wrap presents, protect the kitchen tile from muddy sneakers, and get a chuckle from the comics section.

The compelling content found in newspapers exceeds that of websites. According to his article, websites can contain “court documents, legislative records, lengthy interviews . . . into a corner of cyberspace at minuscule cost, available to readers at a keystroke.” But, when reading the news, people want fast facts and will disregard extensive information. A printed edition includes more quality work than anything found on an online publication.

As editor, I have taught my staff the basics of good journalism: quality over quantity. While an article should have enough breadth, stating the five W’s early-on creates an article that will attract readers. Readers do not need comprehensive information; therefore, the limitless space that a tabloid provides becomes mute. Although the accessibility of a news website proves beneficial, newspapers contain sentimental value that precedes anything technology has to offer. Instilling appreciation for the form of journalism remains important—regardless of technology’s progression. As said by an interviewee in Sussman’s article, “Electronic newspapering will ‘usher in the golden age of journalism.’” The golden age has arrived; however, it includes the continuation of printed editions.

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