Categories: OpinionPlaying with Fire

Playing with Fire

Forum: is print journalism dying?

By Gonzalo Duque


WE picked up in this issue the disturbing news or rumor about what is being bandied about as the imminent death of print journalism.

We have sampled these intelligent views from a group of journalism students for your enlightenment:

Is traditional print journalism dying? A study released recently by the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit fact tank, shows newspaper readership declining as more people consume news digitally.

In the US, PEW shows a total of 31 million daily newspaper circulations for weekdays, print and digital combined, in 2017, down 11% and 10% respectively from the previous year.

The struggle print journalism is undergoing in the Internet age is well-documented. As early as 2011, the documentary “Page One: Inside the New York Times” by American filmmaker Andrew Rossi has chronicled how print journalism, specifically NYT, try to stay solvent in a digital age. Tita Valderama, training coordinator, asked students and interns their views on traditional print journalism after watching the documentary. The students and interns from the journalism programs of TMC, University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) offered diverging views, but all recognized the impact of the Internet.

Miguel Raphael C. Peconcillo, UST: Traditional print journalism is dying. While the number of people who pick up a newspaper is going down, the number of people who pick up and scroll through their smartphones is still on the rise. It should be stressed that we are not really witnessing the death of journalism per se but rather an evolution of it.

Ma. Agatha Nicole T. Fabricante, UST: In time, print journalism will be replaced by online journalism; it is because in this fast-changing world, people prefer reading the news using their gadgets instead of holding big sized newspaper.

Jeah Noreen B. Dalaten, UST: It is a possibility for the traditional print media to come to an end but that would still be far away especially in the Philippine setting. More people seem to prefer reading on their laptops, phones, and social media. Despite all of these though, not everyone in the Philippines can afford gadgets or have Internet access. The most affordable way for them to gain access to news is through paper.

Shaina Cate Col, LPU: Yes, I do believe that it is dying. It is hard for me as a journalism student to admit it, but the world is innovating and today’s generation has also changed. Youths today would rather browse the social media than read. The modern era also allowed to access information through the Internet with just one click… people do not need to but newspapers anymore because everything is available in the Internet.

Christine Fabro, UST: The traditional print media, however vast the changes of the digital media apply, remains visible. Print will always be given importance by all walks of life because it is accessible anytime. If there is one thing that the print journalism needs to persist in the industry, it is to continue in adapting and sustaining the rapid changes and needs of the audiences.

Liezelle S. Roy, TMC: Social media is just a click away; everything is already on the Internet. But I could say that traditional journalism is still more efficient than the new media especially because journalists are more intelligent and careful in writing their stories in deference to libel laws. Printed journalism is more accurate and precise, and complete than those articles posted in the Internet.

Nicole Sta. Clara, UST: Traditional journalism isn’t dying, but struggling. It is still more reliable than online journalism because of the process it goes through. Every piece of news that will be put in the newspaper must be crosschecked before being published.

Samantha Abbygail Tio, UST: The newspaper industry had thrived through the years, and will continue to do so amid the emergence of online journalism. Newspapers are not rivals of online media, as such; both rely on each other. Online journalism is for quick information dissemination, while print journalism is still used as an educational tool and is purchased by people financially incapable of buying the modern gadgets.

The trend is disturbing, folks. But are we in the community media threatened at all?

Your guess is as good as ours.

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