If you know anything about me, it would be no surprise to hear that I have always thought I would go into a career in writing, such as journalism. Though I find it enthralling to write novels, I have always seen myself doing more than that and believed that journalism might be the right career path for me. However, by the time I graduate in 2017, it is unclear whether or not this career path, at least the way we traditionally view it, will even be in existence.
The death of print journalism remains a fear for many students.(Photo by Elizabeth Zanghi/The Ram)
Of course, news outlets will still exist. Our world would be transformed into one of tumult and ignorance without them. However, outlets such as print journalism are more and more frequently heading in the direction of online media. This has made many other college-aged students hesitant to consider a career in the field that they have always imagined ourselves entering.
It has become common for many college students to separate themselves from the idea of becoming journalists because of the extremely disappointing way that the field has been gravitating away from traditional print publishing to Internet articles and posts on social media. Due to these changes, it is understandable to fear that this may not even be a realistic career to aspire to in the future.
In a sense, this strips part of the validity of the writing and the writer, because essentially anyone can write and publish his or her work online. Of course, these amateur journalists will be posting their writing to personal blogs as opposed to The New York Times or The Huffington Post. Regardless, the image of their work will be the same, viewed through the barrier of a screen.
Traditional newspapers and magazines are inevitably more personal. They provide the luxurious opportunity to hold the print in your hands and smell the hard work put into a freshly-printed newspaper in the early morning. Additionally, you get to carry away the wisdom and information of the articles physically — and in the ink smudges that you later find on your fingertips.
This romantic way of reading the news may be considered “less convenient.” This is a ridiculous thought because according to CNN, 53 percent of the American population still maintains a newspaper delivery subscription. These people do not seem to see a problem with it.
After 25 years, The Onion announced that it will be canceling all remaining print editions, moving solely to online posts. Additionally, Condé Nast has announced that it is putting a stop to its internship programs.
This leaves young aspiring journalists to wish that they had been born 15 years earlier, when they would never have had to put up with this nonsense. If the human population really finds it this inconvenient to pick up a newspaper or magazine, then it is frightening to think of where we will be in 10 years.
It is also quite concerning that people are having trouble picking up a book in contemporary society. (Remember books? Those things with spines and pages that you can physically turn and feel the words that have been written and printed meticulously? Those thing that allow you to have a direct connection to the characters and brilliant authors that created them while holding them in your hands?)
You might not remember, because now “books” can be found for $4 on a Kindle, and readers must use their fingertips to slide over to the next page on a lucrative screen. I forbid my family to use these forms of technology to read books.
Once, I caught my mother reading for her book club on a Kindle she had borrowed from a friend. She deservedly received the silent treatment for the rest of the day. These new technologies are highly disturbing and are an embarrassing portrayal of how lazy society has become.
Despite the negative changes in the way society has been choosing to obtain its news and literature, it is still important for writers to refrain from being discouraged from pursuing their dreams.
I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to live out something that I have always wanted to do, and I urge others that love to write to not give up on society just yet. Although some of the biggest news distributors have created the option of digital subscriptions, they have not gotten rid of their print editions. This has created a balance between traditional journalism and more contemporary digital journalism with which everyone can comply. If this is the way that the news media continues to operate, then not all hope for the continuation of traditional journalistic media will be lost.
Felicia Czochanski, FCRH ’17, is an undeclared major from Metuchen, NJ.