Do Digital Media Programs Contribute to the Death of Print?

By Olivia Parker, Samantha Lee, Samuel Bradley
August 2, 2018

[Olivia Parker, SPOT 127 Production Assistant] Does SPOT 127, as a youth media center, contribute to the death of print? Us production assistants went out to find the answer. But the real questions that should be answered first are why is print ‘dying’ and will it actually ever die?

Digital changed the way we did news, in both negative and positive ways. It has been doing this for many years.

[Karina Bland] You know it’s funny because like I said I've been doing this for 28 years and when I graduated from college people told me that newspapers were dying. So 28 years later they’re still here? So I’m kind of counting on the Millenials who like everything vintage and thinking newspapers are cool again and start subscribing.

[Olivia] As we become more glued to our phones, we’re less likely to notice the world around us. As journalists, it is easier to gather information, however we’re less likely to fully experience the news we’re reporting on. Whatever we make is fast and short, which makes it less personable than holding the paper your hand.

[Samantha Lee, SPOT 127 Production Assistant] With the Internet, we’ve been able to connect with people all over the world. Our news is fast and instantaneous, giving us more access to millions of stories, especially with how fast we can gather our resources.

[Karina] I think that it’s a benefit if I write a story here in Arizona and put it on the internet that then somebody in Germany or Australia can read it. I’ve had stories where I get emails from all over the world not just all over the state but all over the world from people who are reading them online. So that is a wonderful thing.

[Samantha] So our answer is...yes, SPOT probably contributes to the death of print. Everything we do is multimedia and digital journalism. We get out of the classroom and go into the field to find stories. Even though all our work is done on the computer, we never miss a chance to truly meet who our stories are about.

[Karina] I spend a lot of time outside of the newsroom because I tell people when you’re writing a story go to where the story is and talk to the people face to face. I kind of worry that we might lose a little bit of that. It’s easy to call on the phone it’s easy to ask questions by email or text people but I always tell people the best stories come from being where the story is happening.

[Olivia] We find ways to share our voices to a bigger audience.

[John D’Anna] My colleague Dennis Wagner exposed all of the flaws in the Veterans Administration Healthcare System a few years ago. That's the kind of things that journalists do and that makes me really glad that you guys are interested in doing it. Because it's really important for our society that people be informed so they can make really good decisions about their government and about the places they live in.

[Samuel Bradley, SPOT 127 Production Assistant] We find ways for our creativity to run wild.

[Charissa Lucille] People call it a waste of time, a waste of space, a waste of words, but it all lives here. Because it’s not a waste.

[Samuel] Where is news going next?

[Amy Silverman] We see patterns all the time definitely if you broaden out just news and how we consume digital media. Blogs were really important and everyone was doing it just a few years ago. Now blogs aren’t as important. No one has heard of a podcast pretty recently now podcasts are all the rage and I feel like we will just cycle in and out of a lot and because its digital it will happen more quickly.

[Karina] But i do think if newspapers go away even if the physical print product goes away I think that digital will just get better and better. So I dont think newspapers will go away but it might change the way we read them.

[Samuel] SPOT is helping to produce the next generation of reporters.

[Karina] Go into journalism. It's going to be here in some form or another. So if it’s what you're interested in or if you're good at it then definitely do it because if you love it, you will find a way to make it happen.