Optimism about print journalism

It’s rare that we read much optimistic news about the future of print journalism, but would-be newspaper writers can take heart from some experts who see good things coming.

According to allheadlinenews.com:

“This has always been a nation of community newspapers, and until just after World War II, it was a nation of family-owned community newspapers,” Susan Brockus, an assistant professor of journalism at California State University, Chico. “The decline of corporate newspapers will create a vacuum, which I hope will again be filled by family-owned, locally-owned publications.”

Her colleague at Chico State, Journalism School Department Chairman Glen Bleske, agrees.

“You must remember that new technology does not always kill old technology. TV was supposed to kill movies. Look at AM radio. Who would have predicted talk radio in the 1960s? Magazines were declared dead in the 1960s,” Bleske said.

Even those who don’t expect newspapers in their traditional form to live on, don’t view the current environment as threatening to the survival of print journalism.

“I think it’s a great time to be in the business,” said Lydia Chavez, a journalism professor at University of California, Berkley. “Our students know coming into graduate school that they are unlikely to work at a traditional newspaper, but they believe in journalism, and so do I. There will be a new model, and they will be the ones who create it.”

[Continue reading Optimism]

Newspapers need to find a way to offer value to their customers and their advertisers, and they need to ensure that they continue to be compensated for the value they provide.

The problem is that there’s no longer value in reprinting AP stories that most subscribers read on the web the night before. And there’s little compensation to be had by giving away the product for free online.

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This blog is maintained by Dr. Matthew M. Reavy as a service to journalism students at the University of Scranton.

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