Can journalism go digital? A millennial’s perspective

What do you do for a living?

I’m a journalist.

Isn’t journalism dying?

No, it’s just changing.

Though I haven’t been in journalism for long, I can’t tell you the number of times I have had this conversation. It is the age-old conversation in journalism and everyone, journalist or not, is asking the question: Will journalism survive going digital?

Of course it will. End of conversation.

Let’s start a new conversation about how we can accomplish this.  This is pertinent in light of the recent newspaper world scare having to do with the New York Times losing money on its print edition.

Believe it or not, this issue at the New York Times isn’t the end of print as we know it, again, it is just the transformation.

Though I fall into the horrendous millennial category that I would rather not accept because of the idiotic stereotypes that I would have to take on, I like to hold an actual newspaper in my hand just as much as the next ink-smell-loving individual. But, at the end of the day, that smell isn’t really what is important to me; it is the words on those pages.

Once those in the journalism sphere get over the idea that our words have to be on actual paper, maybe we will actually be in tune with our consumers.

Breaking news isn’t found in between the pages of the comics, but rather on Twitter. That is just the reality of journalism today. Print newspapers are always a day behind, which in today’s time, seems more like a week.

So, let’s talk solutions. I know and you know that the big news organizations, such as Times, INC., can survive the digital change, but it seems like only I know that the small community papers can do it too.

Penelope Muse Abernathy knows it, as she explained how community newspapers can adapt to the digital world in an interview with Nieman Journalism Lab.

So why do the actual community newspapers not understand this? Probably because many of them let their readers dictate their every move. Newspapers should be leaders in their communities, not followers. If they build digitally, the readers will come.

Now this is all advice from a lowly communications coordinator at a national journalism organization, but it might be worth a thought at least.

I guess my main points are: Journalism isn’t dying, newspaper is changing, and the consumers of news will consume it digitally when newspapers give them the chance to.

Have I just been drinking too much coffee and can’t think straight, or does anyone else feel the same way? Comment below or tweet me at @taylorcarlier.

Cheers!

Taylor Carlier is the communications coordinator at the Society of Professional Journalists. She is a 2014 Purdue University graduate of Mass Communication: Journalism and previously was the special projects editor at The Exponent. She can be reached at tcarlier@spj.org or you can stalk her on Twitter at @Taylorcarlier.

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