The future of newspapers

Alex Wittman Editor-in-Chief

If I had a nickel for every sarcastic remark I’ve gotten in response to telling someone I want to be a professional journalist, I wouldn’t have to worry about the meager salary I can expect to make my first year out of college (or 10 years from now).

In recent years, the newspaper industry has found themselves not only reporting the news, but in it as well. Across the country, headlines announce industry layoffs and declining circulation.

It’s no secret that newspapers are in transition. What does seem to be a secret, though, is the bright future the industry is moving toward.

The fate of the newspaper industry isn’t all doom and gloom as my hecklers would have me believe. Also making national headlines was Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ recent purchase of The Washington Post.

Bezos paid $250 million in cash for the daily newspaper, which is regarded as one of the nation’s leading publications.

Bezos’ commitment to and respect for newspapers is evident. Like any smart investor, he has his reasons.

“Newspapers have a bond with their audience in ways like no other medium,” wrote Dean Ridings, director of Newspaper Association Managers, in a recent Michigan Press Association newsletter.

Ridings is coordinating a campaign that will run during National Newspaper Week, which began Oct. 6, to debunk myths surrounding the newspaper industry, including readership statistics.

“In fact, 131 million Americans read a daily newspaper in the past week—far more than you would expect given the headlines that so often focus on the bad news affecting newspapers,” Ridings wrote.

As an aspiring professional journalist, it’s reassuring to know there is still a place for newspapers, especially considering the scrutiny The Torch has undergone in the past year.

Even in today’s media-saturated world, newspapers are valued commodities. As long as there are people wanting to read quality content, there will be people willing to produce it.