Posted by: reisendame | February 6, 2007

Has the printing press had its heyday?

Carnegie-Knight Task Force at Harvard University recently conducted a survey which shows teachers are using Internet-based news more than newspapers or television news. On one hand, this new technology does provide faster, easier, and essentially greater access to news stories of all kinds. The internet is a vast database of information available at the click of the mouse. However, these teachers, according to the report, typically utilize just a few major online news sources, such as CNN, The New York Times, and PBS. They even use non-American sites, such as BBC, which provides a slightly different perspective on some of the same stories. The problem here is that students are missing out on news stories specific to their community and an important part of connecting to where they live and what’s going on around them. Local news is just as important as national or world news. I think that students should have a well-rounded learning experience involving real issues of consequence, and that includes the not-so-loud voices of print publications. Print journalism, in its purest form, is quickly seeming to become obsolete. In general, the growing concentration on online reporting actually excludes some people from its culture. Not everyone has access to internet resources. It is true that those schools and libraries in America who can afford internet capabilities are boosting and promoting their use, but only a number of citizens are benefitting. Other people who suffer from the decline in print publication are the journalists themselves. A lifelong local journalist may very easily lose his job nowadays, and unless he’s internet-saavy, will have a rough time finding employment. We are breeding a new generation who wouldn’t even think to pick up a newspaper and get ink-stains rubbed off on their fingers. If, God forbid, we lose the world wide web somehow, where will we be? It’s slightly unnerving to live in a culture rebuilding itself to rely on binary numbers floating somewhere in cyberspace.

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