Local Newspapers: Is Paper Primitive?

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Local Newspapers; Is Paper Primitive?
Local newspapers have been in use for centuries, providing us with information on current affairs, means to advertise and more often than not, simple topic for conversation. They are an integral part of society, yet are finding steady competition with online newspapers. When determining the value of print papers, the accessibility of news, social impacts, the environment and other factors are to be considered. Undeniably, online newspapers are easier accessed than print newspapers. They’re current, updated almost real-time, and if needed, journalists and reporters can immediately get the word out, whether it be for emergencies, breaking news or even the occasional historic event. The average person can read news instantly, straight off their smartphone or tablet. In addition, they have a larger audience and wider access which means greater success, something less-accessible, local print newspapers can’t seem to compete with. Local mediums do have advantages, though, one being geographical targeting. There are a few local online mediums, but they aren’t as abundant or, usually, as in-depth as the original paper versions. In wider-spread focuses, however, targeting works more effectively online. News providers collect data on the popularity of sections in their “paper”, with technology, and then highlight sections accordingly. Readers also customize their news- they can essentially pick what they read. While this can be considered convenient, it can also potentially limit general knowledge of current events. With print newspapers, as one scans through, headlines will stand out, providing a basic background on what’s going on. This is becoming of increasing importance, as the news doesn’t seem to appeal to most younger generations. Online newspapers also contain qualities which appeal to the younger generation, over print papers. Multimedia displays such as videos, animations, etc. allow the reader to interact, whereas print newspapers minimize interaction. The relationship between the writer and the reader also changes online. People can comment and contribute opinions, a more direct way to communicate. Blogs are also a new forum for discussion which makes for increased interaction and greater reader engagement. On the other hand, blogs introduce the issue of credibility. Online mediums are susceptible to low standards, more so than printed newspapers, and there is questionable content quality. Furthermore, journalists used to bounce ideas off each other and discuss ideas in greater depth, but this is no longer the case. They can simply work from home and publish an article to a site.
Stories can also be too bare or general as writers try to cater to the public’s increasingly short attention span. Print newspapers allow in-depth explanation and analysis, although this is gradually