Friday, December 6, 2019

Will Campus News Media Cease To Publish?

Image result for student newspaper images

The news media has always been criticized by some as being biased, incompetent, sensationalistic, and too powerful.  But in the last few years, coinciding with President Donald Trump’s attack of the media, things have reached a crisis point. While the media struggles to maintain readership and listeners/viewers, it also fails to lure the ad bucks it used to get. But the triple threat is completed when Trump labels everything “Fake News,” undermining the foundation of the Fourth Estate and the nation’s well-being. It appears that the problems of professional journalism are now being handed down to the amateurs at the college level.

Campuses across the country are the training grounds for future journalists. It is at school that they learn about the principles and tactics of writing, editing, researching, and publishing an ethical and legal publication. It is at school that they get to discover their editorial voice by contributing to the school newspaper. But it now appears the student newspaper is under significant threat.

According to a recent story by the Associated Press, school papers are experiencing major cuts.  Behold:

·         35% of school papers say they reduced their frequency of publication.
·         5% of school papers are online only, with no print edition.
·         50% of school papers print fewer copies per edition.

Keep in mind, many student papers are funded by student fees that are mandatory, but advertising has taken a hit.  Also keep in mind the editorial staff is made up of students – volunteers. So even with costs being kept down, school papers are under siege.

Part of it is a lack of interest in the student body to actually read the newspaper. Some are just too busy with school, social life, a part-time job or too distracted by a world in a digital box that fits in the palm of a hand.

In the past few years, some major college dailies went to a three-days-a-week schedule, including, North Carolina’s Daily Tar Heel and Syracuse University’s The Daily Orange.  It mirrors what some other newspapers have done.  For instance, Investor’s Business Daily now publishes weekly.  A few years ago the Times-Picayune of New Orleans went from daily publication to three times a week and then it was sold to The Advocate this past May and was folded, essentially laying off all of its workers but merging the name with The Advocate.

But there is a silver lining. Enrollment in journalism programs is rising again.  Students see the need and want to serve the nation by being writers of truth and history. The country needs capable, willing, and courageous young minds to step up and fill a void created by the Internet, Trump, and the shortcomings of the media industry. 

I look forward to seeing the headlines about to be written!

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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