This just in. St. Peter’s College bookstore no longer carries newspapers. The bookstore manager told me that people were not buying newspapers anymore. And why should they? All the news is available online. And with all the books the students and professors are required to carry, who has an extra arm for a newspaper.
I went searching for a paper for a class exercise in my newswriting class. I’m sure you journalism professors or former students of journalism know the one. It’s where you write out stories you have sent your reporters on, then have the class decide what will make the front page. Then you compare their front page with the newspaper’s front page. I was still able to do the exercise. Thank goodness the New Jersey Star Ledger still has a PDF of their daily paper on NJ.com
It’s a great way to teach news judgment. But it did feel a bit stale. In an online publication you don’t have to worry about space issues. There is plenty of space for all kinds of news. So, in reality. We didn’t have to “kill” any stories. But there is still dilemma. When I sent my “fake” reporters out to cover stories, my little paper had 10 staff writers. Is that really still the case? There may be a limitless amount of space to cover all stories, but who will cover the stories?
Check out what the publisher of the NY Times had to say about the future of newspapers: http://mashable.com/2010/09/08/nytimes-print/