Print to Web only: One paper’s journey

Speaker: Travis Walters, Savannah College of Art and Design
Paper: District

Why should a paper switch or consider switching to an online only format?
The future generation will not want to, nor will they have the patience to flip pages.
-2/3 internet using teens do their reading online, especially their news reading.
-72 percent of online adults get their news from online sources.
The Web has taken all forms of media except television.
Hard Copy newspapers are no longer environmentally sustainable. Newspapers would save so much money by canceling their print additions and persuading their advertisers to buy online ads.

Why many people believe news sources should not switch:
-People will not read it if it is on the internet. (This thought process comes mostly from older generations.)

“That is like someone saying to this generation, ‘I double-dog-dare you not to use the internet’ not going to happen.”

Multimedia packages better, and gives the audience a much better, rounded story than print ever could:
Today online stories come equipped with text, photos, links, videos, soundslides and much more, giving the reader more information than ever.

Drawbacks?
-There is no hard deadline: The news never sleeps, there are still deadlines, but they are constantly revolving.
-Editors are constantly budgeting and assigning stories, again the news never sleeps.
-Reveal: there is no big reveal (The Pendulum’s is on Wednesday every week.)

My Take:
This speaker was great and he really knew what he was talking about. While I feel that the Pendulum is not quite ready to go completely online only, it is an intriguing idea. Every time we have to bring back the papers from the week prior, I think about all the pages that will never be read and will eventually be thrown out to a landfill or at best recycled. That still is extremely energy inefficient.  Switching to online only is something I feel that will be eventually needed, but not for a while.

Also I feel like The Pendulum’s readership base must have a much larger online presence before that could happen, but overall, great presentation. It left me with a lot to think about.

-Sam

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