The survival of print media is a contested issue in the contemporary media sphere. While figures undeniably show the substantial decline in newspapers, it is also apparent that online newspapers are not thriving significantly more than print media, as they too continue to simultaneously experience considerable declines. The pessimistic attitude of the future of print media is a colossal issue, however optimistic media experts reveal the key to success to the preconceived idea that print journalism is a dying form.
As print media continues to remain a contested issue, journalists and media platform controllers confident over its existence highlight how a vital transformation is the key to its survival. This transformation is stated by Mathew Ingram, who highlights “the change is from a one-way broadcast model to a multi-directional social model of journalism”. In order to survive, print media must establish a powerfully built relationship with the audience, and create a two-way interaction between the journalist and the audience. Personal relationships between media writers and their audiences are what controls an increasing amount of consumption and revenue.
The City University of New York has taken initiative in this transformation, by offering a degree in social journalism. This master’s course in what is defined as “social and community journalism” develops the skills required to effectively engage with media audiences in a way to develop this crucial relationship.
Chattanooga Times Free Press has also created an innovative idea to keep consumers engaged. “Events on Steroids” is an event portfolio where the newspaper holds approximately one event a month in the community of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Examples of events include two bridal expos a year, a kids expo that draws up to 10 000 people and high-school sports banquet among many more. Through this event, the newspaper is able to actively involve themselves within the community, establishing personal relationships and increasing their revenue as a result.
While the preconceived idea of print media nearing its death is apparent in the media paradigm, perhaps a bigger issue is the pessimist attitude held towards its survival?