College students can save print journalism

The word on the street is that print media is meeting a slow, painful death.

With major newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post laying off hundreds of workers at various instances, one may wonder what the future holds for journalism.

Many doomsayers give it a decade or two before all of print media will be abandoned. Others predict that the federal government will begin to subsidize newspapers and magazines.

Everyone in the media seems to be panicking. Most blame the advent of the Internet for the rapid deterioration of print journalism. After all, it does make sense that no one is going to pay for something that they can easily procure for free.

But I think the problem runs much deeper than most people think. Radio didnâÄôt kill theater and the VCR didnâÄôt kill television. Why does every new technology have to kill an older one in order to survive? This has not been the case in the past. Why should we pretend that it is going to start now?

I believe the main problem newspapers and magazines face is not a result of Facebook, Twitters and bloggers. The problem lies with the society we live in.

Largely, Americans are a lazy and superficial people. We as a society glorify ignorance in its most perverse forms. Many of us race home from work to watch âÄúDancing with the StarsâÄù or âÄúAmerican IdolâÄù rather than read that dayâÄôs edition of the newspaper.

ItâÄôs not that Americans are getting their news online; itâÄôs that theyâÄôre not getting it anywhere. DonâÄôt believe me? As college students we are supposed to exemplify aptitude and intellect in our daily lives. But most of us would rather find out who is fornicating and fighting with one another on the latest episode of âÄúJersey Shore.âÄù

I have met many people in college who think itâÄôs strange for me to be reading the newspaper on a daily basis.

I do not understand where this aversion to reading is coming from. Have college students always been like this or is it a new trend? LetâÄôs hope itâÄôs just a passing phase.

There will always be partying and debauchery in college. But to what extent are college students taking this level of ignorance? These are questions that the young people of our generation need to ask themselves.

Overall, what bothers me the most about the decline of print is one simple fact: Most good investigative journalism comes from newspapers and magazines.

Without print institutions like Time, the Wall Street Journal and theNew York Times, where will transparency come from? Who will uncover the scandals and frauds inside of our own government? In order for a society to be free, these checks and balances are needed on the federal, state and local governments. Good reporting will rest in the fate of print.

Hopefully, we as students can reverse the startling trend of ignorance that is sweeping across our country.

So occasionally, would it really hurt to step away from Facebook and pick up a newspaper or magazine? Who knows, you might actually learn something.