April 20, 2005

Informal Presentation Print versus Online journalism

Online Journalism vs. Print: What happens to the traditional journalist?
By Denishia Salter

In a time where blogging is considered journalism and thousands of websites are being built daily; it seems that traditional journalism, may be in danger of becoming extinct.

Even the Journalism major at Seton Hill University has changed to a New Media Journalism curriculum, preventing me from receiving the proper education in traditional journalism that is imperative to attain a job in the very near future.

All forms of information are being sited on the internet; anyone with a computer can obtain the latest news on Google, which is updated almost down to the minute. So if online journalism is supposedly quicker, cheaper, and more convenient, how the hell can a traditional journalist survive besides just going with the flow and adapting their style of writing for an on line audience?

So considering this question, I realized that I was actually taking one class that still considers traditional print media; which is my magazine writing class. However, magazines are being placed online as well, along with all the content found in the print magazine.

So why would anyone want to sit in front of a computer all day when you can curl up with a nice book in bed, on a plane, or even in the bathroom? (Don’t pretend like you haven’t read on the toilet before!) I mean no one just brings their laptop to the bathroom, do they?

So again why and how could online replace print? I then decided to compare for myself the differences between online and print magazines, and what better magazine to examine, than one of the most popular magazines in the world, The Cosmopolitan?

When viewing the online Cosmopolitan, I found that it was similar to the cover of this month’s print issue; except for all the links and pop-up movie advertisements flashing continuously throughout the screen and in the middle of the articles, was distracting and annoying.

I also noticed that I couldn’t just click on past issues and read through them. I could only view the cover. However, the website advertises for you to subscribe to the print magazine on every page. Why advertise online for the reader to buy the print version? Because print is where the money is and the magazine is not making any money from readers browsing through the articles on the internet for free.

People aren’t even paying for music anymore so why buy a magazine? Of course, cost always plays a role when it comes to buying anything; especially during a time where a gallon of gas cost more than a McDonald’s happy meal and a pack of gum.

Besides the racy articles, the first thing I notice in Cosmo are the infamous quizzes. Are you a great girlfriend? How sexy are you? Online you can take the quizzes by clicking on your answers and they add up your results. Instead of just taking the quiz and filling out all the answers in pencil, so you can erase them and someone else can do it; you can just click on an icon and email it to a friend.

That is very convenient and maybe even faster. But doesn’t that ruin the effect it has when you huddle together on a team road trip and giggle secretively in the back of the bus while taking goofy test or reading “50 ways to please your man” with your girls? Or passing the magazine around a restaurant table looking at the pictures of the, “guy without his shirt of the month.” You get my point.

No matter how convenient, fast, cheap, or high tech the online media is, I don’t think it will ever replace the interpersonal communication involved with sharing magazines and ripping out the posters with your friends and putting them on the wall. Or reading an article and everyone circling what they found most funny.

My purpose was not to determine whether or not online magazines are superior to print magazines or vice versa. I wanted to determine whether or not traditional journalism, like magazines were still popular or were being over shadowed by online magazines.

My point being, online journalism is an evolution, it’s even easier to get published online. However, I honestly don’t think that it can replace the concreteness of print magazines, books, and newspapers. Well at least until they make a computer the size of a book…ok so they do have computers that size. Still, as long as print is making money traditional journalism is here to stay.

Posted by Denishia Salter at April 20, 2005 01:45 PM
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