For me, it’s the smell of a hardcover, and the flipping of worn pages. It’s the feeling of triumph after finishing a good book, closing it, and putting it back on the shelf. It’s the vintage bookstore, to-go coffee in hand, endlessly reading the backs (or first few chapters) of potential new novels. It’s the pictures, bold letters, and bright colors that draw me in as I wait in the checkout line at the supermarket. It’s the Sunday crossword puzzles in the newspaper, and the infamous covers of Time. For me, it has always been the hard copies, the physical book, and the real-life magazines (which are great for arts and crafts nights…paired with wine).
These days we are all consumed by the digital world. My generation specifically, Generation Z, has been defined by our exposure to technology from a very young age. The toddlers running around with their own iPads- yeah, that’s us. Sure, I like reading hard copies of books and magazines, but don’t get me wrong, I am an avid digital and social media user (with the occasional Instagram hiatus). This is not an article about how digital technology is taking over our lives or how we are in a virtual apocalypse, but I don’t know, doesn’t it seem somewhat alarming that because we are all staring at a screen for hours on end each day, blue light glasses are becoming a norm?
I certainly love my digital options, but I think there is something to be said about traditional print media. Though Tik Tok, Snapchat, Facebook, and the entire plethora of social channels have changed the media game, traditional media remains a trusted, and heavily consumed type of media. 2020’s turmoil led people straight to the news, and it’s important to an audience that they feel they can trust those sources to give them the most reliable information. Research shows that more people trust traditional forms of media, rather than digital sources. In fact, 73% of Americans trust their local newspapers and 55% trust national newspapers more than any other kind of media. I don’t know how to fully explain it, but I think if it really came down to it, I would trust a black and white, hard copy of a newspaper rather than an online website. When I think about newspaper journalists, I think about the old-school reporters hitting the streets to catch the latest headline story. Fighting the good fight, if you will. Though that is somewhat of an outdated perspective, there is something gritty about print journalism that I will always have an appreciation for.
With that being said, I understand that digital media is a faster, and more personalized way to reach consumers which is critical in today’s day and age. However, I believe there is a misconception that because digital media has been put on such a premium in many aspects of our lives, that means that traditional media options like newspapers are dead, right? Wrong. Print media is far from dead. The print industry is very much alive and running, regardless of how many new Snapchat features are released weekly or fresh Tik Tok dances are being created daily.
The internet is a vast, open void. When you put content out there, it so easily gets lost in the thousands and millions of other content being thrown out every second. When doing research on a particular topic, I feel as though I could sift through the New York Times’ article archives for hours and not ever feel like I found what I was looking for. Newspapers on the other hand, offer something that the internet doesn’t seem to have anymore: simplicity. Newspapers are delivered to the consumer, which means that your audience is given the opportunity to hold tangible information in their hands. If they decide to recycle it, fine, but at least they held and looked at it (which is more than you can say for your random article floating around in internet space). These unique aspects of newspapers should not be overlooked, especially by advertisers.
We are so focused on the new, new, new that sometimes we forget why there was an “old” in the first place. This blog was not created with the intention of swaying people from digital over to traditional, but rather a reminder that print is still around. The hard copies, the black and white, and the classics are all still there, ready to be held, read, and shared.