Newspapers May Die But Reporters Will Live On

newspaperThe CEO of Google, Inc., Eric Schmidt, wrote an article about how the internet won’t destroy news organizations as many people believe. I totally agree with this opinion. The article (found here) talks about how the internet will simply give news a new outlet.

I’ve heard this idea that newspapers are slowly dying out, and the same has been said about physical books. I’m intrigued by the notion because where words are involved, it’s not a physical thing that we find ourselves interested in.

Newspapers contain news, books contain information or stories, and these things are passed along as easily by word of mouth as they are by paper. The internet may be a new medium for these concepts and ideas, a better (possibly cheaper) method of distributing this information, but it won’t kill it.

Publishing companies are those most likely to suffer because they do deal with the physical side of the business. The authors and the reporters… they’ll never find themselves out of business. It is too much a part of human nature to seek out news. Reporters will always be wanted to inform the people what is happening in other parts of the world, the state, or just their own city. Authors will tell stories, whether they sell those books as e-books to be read on the Kindle or the iPhone  or not – they’ll still be in business.

Movies show people stories and yet, they still buy books – tv didn’t kill the book selling business, it didn’t kill the radio. In the same way, the internet won’t replace television and it won’t replace newspapers or books. These things will continue to exist. We see it now. The internet lets you watch television shows, it lets you read the news digitally, it lets you download books or movies.

And it’s now so convenient that it’s all available right there on your cell phone. I haven’t yet converted to the world of the Kindle and E-readers for books, simply because I do love the texture and scent that a real book with real pages has to offer. But I’m sure when that day comes, I’m sure I’ll convert easily because it’s not about how the story is presented but rather how it touched me.

However, as far as news goes… I never read the newspaper in the past. I hated the size of the paper and the effort it required to fold all the pages neatly without tearing it. And I honestly just didn’t care about what was going on in the world. I always believed if it was important enough someone else would tell me.

Those were the sentiments of a high school kid, however. In college, I began reading the school papers just to find out what the school was like. It was a new environment to me and I wanted to learn more about my new home away from home ( and their papers were smaller in size and much more manageable.) I developed a minor interest in the news, still nothing pressing, but I found that I spent more time visiting news portals on the web.

News organizations and reporters were able to reach me through the internet where they had failed elsewhere. Now, I regularly read Google news or the BBC news, etc., so the internet has definitely not killed news organizations but rather opened a door for their reporters to reach a wider audience, to develop a broader readership.

You’re reading a blog. You’re a click away from internet news. How much more likely are you to make that tiny effort to click a link than to drive to the gas station or the grocery store and pick up a paper?

Convenience is taking over our society, and the internet is the road for many businesses to survive where they might otherwise fail.

It’s interesting to think about anyway.

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