Are Newspapers Still Necessary?

              Does it still make sense for University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s The Royal Purple to continue to produce a print product? The answer to this question is yes, print as a medium is still considered to be a viable method to distribute news.

              However, given the track record of this medium one can only assume that it will eventually dwindle down into nothing more than a faint memory. The real question here is ‘why do we need print now?’, and just ‘how long does this medium plan on sticking around for?’

              So why do we need print now? The answer to this can be applied both on a micro (such as the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater) and as a macro (such as the United States) level. The first and more prevalent reason is money, or lack of it.

             Think about it at one point the most prevalent way of obtaining news (other than word of mouth) was by print. From 1450 when Johannes Gutenberg first invented the printing press all the way to 1919 when “amateur operators were easily able to broadcast speech, music, and coded messages through the radio”(History.com).

             That’s a little over 4 and a half century’s of uninterrupted control, because lets face it news will always be in high demand, the only question at the time was who were you going to get it from.  It really wasn’t until the radio came around when the newspapers started to feel a slight sting.

             Nothing that would devastate them , at least not the titans such as: the “Chicago Tribune which dates back to 1847, the New York Times (1851), the Los Angeles Times (1891)”(wikipedia.com), etc., for them the birth of the radio was nothing short of bad news, but it wasn’t what was going to put them in a crises.

             Which is what television did when it was “first introduced to the public in 1946”(History.com). Like domino’s it caused a rippling effect. Making it hard for the radio industry, seeing how people now wanted to put a face with their voice. With the second wave of competition the newspapers were starting to feel the blow. Once again though it wouldn’t be enough to completely shut them down.

             It wasn’t until the mid 90’s when the internet came around.  Back then nobody could have predicted the amount of impact it would of had throughout the world.  However, fast forward 18 years and you’ll find yourself here in the year 2013, in a time were almost half of the U.S. population obtains their news through the usage of the internet.  “According to the Pew Center’s Project of Excellence in Journalism says 41 percent of Americans say they get most of their national and international news from the internet. That’s up 17 percent – more than double – from a year earlier”(CNN.com).

            The Pew also claims that “only 29% now say they read a newspaper yesterday – with just 23% reading a print newspaper. Over the past decade, the percentage reading a print newspaper the previous day has fallen by 18 points (from 41% to 23%)”(Pew research center).  What this means is people are becoming increasingly less reliant on hard print and more reliant on digital print.

                There are many reasons as to why this is, but again the main one being money.  Think about it in print your paying by the letter, as opposed to the digital front were you pay nothing more than the amount of time you put into it.  Not to mention everything else they have to pay for such as: paper, ink, and some sort of printing press which usually requires a team of some sort (depending on how big you are).

                All this adds up to one big bill, and seeing how newspapers are already struggling to keep their viewers their going to have a hard time getting the money to pay for everything.  Another key component is time.  In a fast pace moving society, time becomes a crucial element for any kind of news organizations.  Everybody always wants to be the first to report the news, but only one can.

              For print time is an enormous inhibitor. They simply are  incapable of producing news as fast as  the internet.  Take for example the Wittney Housten incident.  The first to report of her death was Twitter.  There isn’t a day that goes by that someone doesn’t post something indicating that someone famous has died. The main one being Adam Sandler. However, in this case they were correct and believe it or not they were the first.

               Demographics is another factor that needs to be addressed.  According to Carnegie Corporation of New York The average age of a newspaper reader is 53″(journalism.org).  This statistic is very discouraging for advertisers.  Reason being is that advertisers know that at that age your buying habits are more often than not fixed.  Meaning that if you like Crest toothpaste then chances are you are going to purchase that particular brand over all the others (despite how ever many commercials you might have seen for other products).  Not to say that you’ll never try another product again once you reach 53.  All this means is that (more often than not)  the older we get the less of an impact advertisement will have on our buying habits.

                 Conversely,  people from the age “18-29 are more likely to get there news from online”(press.org).  In the same study it also shows that “the groups that are driving the increase in time spent with the news – particularly highly educated people – are most likely to use digital and traditional platforms. Fully 69% of those with some post-graduate experience got news through a digital source”(press.org).

                  In other words not only are the people who get there news online younger but are also more educated.  The educated is another enticing demographic for advertisers.  Simply because they know statistically speaking that the more educated you are the more likely you are to have a higher paying profession.  Which in return means that you have more money to spend.

                 The last reason is space, which print simply does not have enough of.  This is devastating for the print medium for two reasons.  First being that you are limited on what you can write.  Take the whole Boston Marathon Bombing, there wasn’t a news site out there that didn’t have a minute by minute update as to what was going on.  There also wasn’t a news app out there that didn’t constantly send push notifications indicating the latest report of the bombings.

                  Print on the other hand is simply unable to do any of this.  Which makes it nearly impossible for it to produce any sort of breaking news.  It also cant really tell the story in extreme detail.  Unlike the internet the paper is limited on the amount that they can say. According to George Rusky the average article in the “newspaper should contain no more than 450 words”(George Rusky).  Not to say that for a story like this they wouldn’t do more, but it does demonstrate how limited the average writer is on space.

                  The second reason is their limited on the amount of stories that they can produce.  Think about it there are probably tens of thousands of stories that have happened throughout the years that nobody has ever heard of simply because there wasn’t enough space.  Sure the big news will make the paper but it’s all the small news that goes unheard.  News such as adding speed bumps in a local town like Long Grove.  Or increasing the amount it costs for parking meters in Janesville.  This is important because in our representative republic, citizens need information to govern themselves.  Which is hard to do because were limited on the amount of information we get.

                   So why don’t we just abandon print altogether?  Simple because its far cheaper to leave things the way they are as opposed to completely revamping everything.  Despite what the common public believes news sites (at least good news sites that are profitable) are fairly expensive to make and maintain.  Also  despite everything newspapers do work.  According to journalism.org “newspapers remain far and away the largest news organizations in their communities”(journalism.org).  Not to mention that not everybody wants to read there news online.  As mentioned earlier the older generations do prefer print over digital.

                   Which brings me to the second question, just how long does this medium plan on sticking around for?  Obviously we wont know until it has already happened, but the way things are looking their days are diffidently numbered.  In fact according to the journalism.org “between 600 and 700 newsroom job cuts announced, mostly at large papers, our estimate is that the industry’s total loss will be roughly twice that, somewhere between 1,250 and 1,500. As noted, that is roughly the same percentages as the year-to-year circulation losses through September 2005 — 2.5% to 3.1%”(journalism.org)

               On the other hand the digital front is growing exponentially.  According to the pew “a substantial percentages of the regular readers of leading newspapers now read them digitally. Currently, 55% of regular New York Times readers say they read the paper mostly on a computer or mobile device, as do 48% of regular USA Today and 44% of Wall Street Journal readers”(pew.org).  This is a clear indicator that news organizations are moving away from print and towards the digital front.

                   If history has taught us anything its that news will always be in demand. The only question now to ask is just how are you going to obtain it.  500 years ago the only conceivable way to obtain news was either by word of mouth or by print.  Eventually a new form was added to the mix, radio.  With radio on board people were now able to get the news and stay up to date over the air.

                    As time kept on rolling forward so did the technology, and soon enough television was born.  Imagine a world without television, faces like Walter Cronkite, Ted Koppel, Dan rather, and even John Madden would seize to exists, at least historically speaking.  Things like 60 Minutes, Game of  Thrones, and even Spongebob  would never have been made.  Not to say that if any of these weren’t made that it would make that big of a difference, but it does show just how big of an influence television has had on the world.

                   Although, television did have a profound impact on this world it was nothing compared to the new high-bread medium known as the internet.  What makes the internet so awesome is that its still evolving.  Like an organism its adapting to society and in the process of adapting it found away to incorporate the other two mediums such as television and radio into itself.

                   Society has always been about change and adapting to that change.  The problem is that print is incapable of making such changes.  Print as a medium has evolved as far as it can.  According to Briana Cooper a former writer for the University of Wisconsin’s Royal Purple claims that “the Royal Purple is read by a decent amount of people both student and staff alike.”  Cooper goes on to say that “the Royal Purple newspaper diffidently plays a significant role, but I know that if everything I wrote went online there would be way more people that would of read it.”

          This is just one of many examples of how print still is a viable tool in delivering the news. As of right now print is still needed, and who knows just how long it will be needed for?  Newspapers have been around for hundreds of years and is still considered to be useful to this day.  However with the rapid increase of technology there is only one suitable outcome for the newspaper industries, which is liquidation.  Not to say that it will happen any time soon, but yes given enough time it will become completely outdated and undesirable. 

 


 


Major Media Outlets Facebook Page

This post was suppose to be on how each major media outlets Facebook pages are uniquely different.  But given the most recent news every single last one of them is talking about one thing and one thing only. The Boston Marathon bombing.  Before if you were to type in Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev (the brothers responsible for the bombings) into Google nothing would come up. Now if you were to type that into Google’s search engine it will give you about 749,000,000 results.

Boston Marathon Explosion

Meaning that this is big news.  So much so that nearly every giant news titan out there has been covering it, and even more impressive have been posting an hourly update of what has been happening on their Facebook page.  Titans such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Chicago tribune. Have all some sort of video, audio, texts, links, etc. relating to the Boston marathon bombings that can be found on there Facebook pages.

However, it’s important to note that out of the three listed above the New York Times (the biggest and most powerful news station in the U.S) was by far the most frequent and most consistent with releasing a step-by-step news update with the bombings.  Followed by the Washington Post and then proceeding to the Chicago Tribune.  At this point its just nit-picking, considering the fact that all of them would release relatively the same news, with only a one to two hour of a difference between each other.        

                          It is due to this time difference as to why the New York Times is still the number one place to go to for news.  Its also what makes it so unique.  The question here to ask is how? How do they obtain and report the news so fast?

                          To which the obvious answer here is money. The more money you have the bigger your resources are. The bigger your resources are the faster and more news can be obtain, and once you can achieve this it means you can get the most amount of viewers.  The more viewers there are means the more interested advertisers will be, and after all that’s what it’s all about, advertisement. 

Every last one of their pages and even their home pages has advertisement.  It just so happens that New York (the biggest city in the U.S.) houses the biggest news organization (in the U.S).  Once again the reason for this is due to all of their advertisers.  Obviously that’s not the only reason but certainly is one of the biggest.

Another thing to consider is reliability.  Certainly the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post would all be considered reliable.  Just check out their Facebook pages. Each one of them has at least one reporter who posts things to Facebook, and nearly all of the post if not all is backed up by a source.

news as a commodity vs. news as a public right

News as a commodity has always existed the only thing that has changed is how we communicate it. In the beginning it was done by word of mouth or ink, which later switched to radio, which soon after became television, which eventually leads us to now the “digital front,” “web 2.0,”  “the personal media revolution” .  Whatever you want to call it it all means the same thing. Which is doomsday for the rest of the medias.

Transformation of News

The transformation of news

As of now certain medias are still able to maintain afloat such as television. Mainly because television is still able to appeal to advertisers.  Not to say that the other media arts don’t have advertisement of their own, its just substantially less. Reason being is with television they can monitor and categorize the audience. Using such systems as the Nielsen ratings.

As of now advertisers are more interested in not the mass population but rather a specific set.  For example if someone wanted to buy an ipod nano right now from Amazon two things would happen. First being the computer recognizing that you are interested in such product. Second being that you now will have an annoying advertisement for an ipod nano that follows you.

Point being that advertisers now days are seeking out different methods to reach the highest percentage of buying customers. As opposed to anyone who has a pair of eyes or ears.  Using such methods as “web cookies”  which are able to learn where and what the viewer likes.  Depending on how you view this it could be good or bad.

Good, because it learns what you like so when a newer ipod comes out you can know about it. Conversely it kind of has that creepy big brother feel to it.  Either way despite how you may feel there will reach a time were advertisers will intrinsically know what you want based on your prior history.

All this means is that things are going to (and have already) be changing. “It’s no secret that the internet has evolved in the last five years”(Buzzle.com). With this rapid change comes major repercussions such as the news.  No longer do only the professionals such as Walter Cronkite do the news. Now nearly anybody can be a gatekeeper, as long as they have a good internet connection.

The problem with this is when anybody can produce news than the commodity of it deteriorates.  “the personal media revolution is eliminating the infrastructure and distribution mechanisms”(AR&D).  What this means is news is now looking for ways to make up for lost revenue. One of the ways they are doing this is by setting up “pay walls“.  The problem with these pay walls is that they intrude on “we the people” and are rights to public news.

The question is are they necessary?  The answer is yes, at least for now. News should be visible to anyone the only problem is that no one is going to work for free. And until these sites pickup more advertisement there going to be around. ” It’s pay wall season right now: the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Telegraph, the Sun – all have recently announced plans to erect pay walls in an attempt to extract subscription revenues from their most loyal online readers”(http://blogs.reuters.com).

Pizza/Burger restaurants in Licoln Park

If you ever find yourself in Lincoln Park, Chicago and are craving a good burger or pizza restaurant these are the places to go.

Burgers/pizza restaurants 

 

The Last of the Dying Breeds

It has become apparent that now days the average person no longer desires an in-depth story. In fact according to Viraltechnologies.com “The average attention span for online readers is 2.6 seconds”  Meaning that you as the so called “gatekeeper” needs to somehow captivate your audience under 3 seconds.  The question is how? How does one keep a reader reading?

According to Socialmediaexaminer.com they suggest that at least  “50% of your emphasis when writing an article should be focused on the quality of your headline.” But that’s only the start according to Theguardian.com in order to keep the eye-balls on your page you need “proper spacing between paragraphs, pictures, videos, and of course faster speed times”.

Time has always played a huge role in journalism. Every journalist always wants to be first to report “the story”.  It wasn’t until the dawn of the internet that made publishing a story so easy. As of now virtually anybody can publish a story and, with a matter of seconds everybody can read it.  This in part is good, good for the general public but, bad for journalist.

With everybody being able to voice themselves it has caused a rippling effect making journalist’s voice only a faint whisper.  With all these new FREE voices it’s no wonder why narrative journalism is considered to be the last of the dying breeds.  Unfortunately it doesn’t end there algorithms are now being added to the equations.

Particularly algorithms involving  faster speeds to pages and, search engines.  These algorithm codes play a huge impact on sites. For instance according to theguardian.comeven a one second delay in page load time can result in 11% fewer page views, 16% decreased customer satisfaction and 7% lost conversions.

Barbara Ehrenreich writer for the San Francisco Chronicle demonstrates just how hard it is for a journalist now days to get any kind of job, in her article entitled Welcome to a Dying Industry, Journalism Grads.  With all these journalist having to turn over their title as the “gatekeeper” to the general public the question now is what is considered news?

BBC Follows Standard Blog Methodology

I usually don’t follow blogs but the one that I have recently followed is the BBC News blog for one simply reason, which is that I believe that BBC News is the least biased towards the news that it shows.The BBC news does seem to follow the same format as any regular blog the only difference is that it has a heck of a lot more of viewers and it has almost 5 times the amount of writers.  Which is good because as we all know the more writers there are the more stories get heard. What I like about BBC is they know that the future lies within technology and they are taking advantages of this by placing more writers on the web.

One of the best things about this blog is that it is backed up by one of the worlds most powerful stations in the world so of course it is monitored in some kind of fashion. In fact this is from their site “The BBC may edit your comments and not all e-mails will be published. Your comments may be published on any BBC media worldwide.
(Terms & Conditions)”. So when asked the question if its edited or supervised in anyway there’s your answer.  Now this can be viewed as either good or bad. I can see both views but for the record I believe that (overall) it is a good thing. What I like most about this is that they put the best comments/most relevant/funniest  ones up on the top and everything else takes a backseat.  So if you want to keep on reading you can.

However, I do see the other side of the coin and all though its not ideal and not everyone will be heard I still believe that this is better than the alternative. Which is, that every time you go onto their site you would have to bare witness to everybody’s idiotic nonsensical material before you could finally find a relevant or at least insightful piece.  It is because of this why I think I actually prefer their blog site as opposed to others.

As far as the tone/language goes it is all across the board. It appears that BBC blog post isn’t just targeted towards the LCD (lowest common denominator). Example: “Blogging the week: Learning disability charity CEO Jane Chelliah” In this post it talks about a struggle as a feminist/christian and how hard it is in this damn age. Here’s another one titled: Robin Christopherson: Living IT (Technology and disabled people series). This one goes into detail on how technology is helping the disabled to a point that was unimaginable up until recently.  There’s also fun ones as well such as the Lovers Rock Drama by Graeme Kay which talks about Rock. So as anyone can see BBC is targeted towards a whole bunch of people ranging from all over the place.

In my opinion I believe that BBC does a great job as far as their usage on the multimedia. They have tons of pictures located throughout the entire site along with all kinds of great videos and excellent sound quality (at least for the most part). Every time that I do want to see a relevant picture or video such as the recent meteor that hit in Russia I immediately go to this site as opposed to all the rest (such as: FOX, CNN, ABC, etc.)

As mentioned earlier BBC is one of the biggest and most powerful stations in the world so their competitors is almost quite literally everyone, but the biggest ones would most likely be the three previously mentioned, which is: ABC, CNN, and FOX (along with a few others).

Now I have done a great deal of research on this now, and I got to say its hard to say which one is better (as far as obtaining the news goes). Their are several stories among each one of these four sites and all of them posted the same thing relatively at the same time.  However, as painful as it is to say I have to admit that I believe that FOX news was the first one to post a story to its blog.

So the obvious is that BBC needs to be quicker with posting their blogs. But this doesn’t mean that there is good reason to this. Perhaps they do it because they want to find out the facts before posting such a thing (I don’t believe this to be true but who knows).  Also I do like the site that BBC has but I do believe that they can make some of the things a little more easy to find/use such as where to obtain older material and not just the relevant ones.

The Future is Here

                Thomas Friedman author of “Shanghai“,discusses  throughout his article on how the world is changing so rapidly and with change he believes that President Barack Obama should change his phrase “work hard and play by the rules”.

Friedman says that in today’s world people need to “work harder, regularly reinvent yourself, obtain at least some form of postsecondary education”.  It is in this regards were most people would agree with Friedman,

According to a recent study by Gallup and Lumina Foundation for Education. Most Americans see a college degree as a necessary step toward attaining quality employment. Nearly 7 in 10 U.S. adults (69%) strongly agree or agree that having a college degree is essential for getting a good job in this country

Friedman talks about how kids now a days are being taught how to do computer programming as early as first grade. This is just one example of how things are drastically changing and its come to the point where you either learn to adapt or drown with the rest

Chris Anderson the author of “The End of Theory: The Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method Obsolete” discusses throughout his article on the slow transformation that the world has been undergoing, such as the amount of data that is available given the time (exp: Petabyte, Kilobyte, Megabyte, etc.).

He demonstrates how Google doesn’t use anything more than just algorithms to stay at the top of the food chain.  This once again demonstrates the enormous leap that technology is making into our everyday lives.  The question is if Google is making us stupid? According to Atlanticwire.com they believe “we’re not necessarily losing our ability to remember things. Rather, the internet is changing how we remember”.

Is Google Making Us Stupid?written by Nicholas Carr. Talks throughout his article on how technology is to some degree holding us back. At least mentally. Carr believes that it has come to the point were people have given up on long-term concentration.  Unlike Carr Daniel W. Hillis believes “Nicholas Carr is correct in noticing that something is “Making us Stupid”, but it is not Google. Think of Google as a life preserver, thrown to us in a rising flood. True, we use it to stay on the surface, but it is not for the sake of laziness. It is for survival”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFL Super Bowl Blackout

                    What exactly was the cause of the NFL blackout?  Many have claimed that the groundbreaking 34-minute blackout that took place during the third quarter of the Super Bowl was due to Beyonce’s half time show, such as the Los Angeles Times Others claim that the actual cause of the blackout was faulty connections that could have been avoided from the very beginning (nola.com), and the very select few think it was to cool down the Ravens from their unbelievable hot streak.
                    It seems that everywhere you go somebody has a different excuse as to why the power went out.  You would think with such a reputable name such as Mercedes Benz backing up the super dome that a 34-minute blackout would be unimaginable. However that is not the case, and the question still remains, what exactly caused the blackout? Down below is a compiled list of what could of started the devastating super bowl Sunday of 2013.  Its up to you to decide which one of these is the cause.

NFL suffers due to blackout credit lockersmash.com