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The Newspaper: From Press To Pixels

1424 words - 6 pages

The newspaper, the iconic distributor of the world’s knowledge is an integral part of our everyday life. From the first hand written newspaper to the influential forth estate, its evolution through the progression of modernity and innovations in the printing press have created a globalized society as information has become far more accessible(Park 275). The newspaper industry is at a transitional point in its life as it needs to adapt to ensure its survival in the future as readership levels drop staggeringly. Philip Meyer, professor at the University of North Carolina calculates that, “the last daily newspaper reader will check out in 2044,” in just over thirty years the 55 million readers who buy a daily newspaper will transition onto a digital space(Meyer gtd. in Farhi; Farhi). Although the impending tradition ensues, many individuals have concerns about the problems of a digital platform, as they believe it is harder to stay attentive and “focused on [the article] for longer than a paragraph or two” (Lee, Jane et al). The difficulty in attracting many audiences to read a newspaper will also be a struggle as the younger generation in society is not captivated to reading national and international news, but instead are locally interested and focus on entertainment and pop culture(Farhi). The printed newspaper has to redefine itself as a digital publication that can provide to the needs of individuals, with accessibility to up to date news in real time, emphasis on keeping the reader focused longer, and creating a new visual design to attract younger demographics.
After the introduction of the newspaper in the enlightenment era the world has become more interconnected through communication as space and time are less relevant with the advancement of technology(Bawden 55). The newspaper has aided the joining of the world’s societies by giving individuals access to the knowledge and stories of cities and countries around the world. But as E. L. Eisenstein states the “developments in electronic communication via the internet have [sped] up the communication process … minimizing the need for physical presence and transfer of paper documents” as he reaffirms that the newspaper has now fallen short in the new digital communication era of the present with the invention of the computer and the internet(Eisenstein qtd. in Bawden 55). The newspaper’s restrictions in the old-fashioned production of print on a daily rotation cannot accommodate the speed in which society needs their news. The advancements in the capabilities of the internet are increasing exponentially, with the creation of applications and online websites, the newspaper is far more accessible in real time as a new articles can be uploaded almost instantaneously(Lapham 4). Paul Farhi, reporter for the Washington Post, suggests to other journalists and publishers to “forget paper and ink; [they] have to be ready to deliver the goods via whatever delivery system “end users” want it in,” as he...

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