by Deborah Shawcross
What does the future hold for journalism? A new beginning is on the horizon as news organizations will have to bend to the will of today’s techno savvy youth.
At the University of Regina, young students consume news differently than their parents and grandparents. Students now have the choice of reading newspapers on their iPad or watching newscasts on their phones.
Technology has certainly altered the way we view news and some observers foresee the impending doom of traditional outlets. Are we all going to be glued to our screens or is this techno news utopia further into the future?
When not going to class or reading textbooks U of R students do find the time to catch up on current events. Student Michelle Korpan routinely checks the Internet for news.
“I go to the Globe and Mail website or the Al Jazeera website is good as well. Those are the two main ones I use,” said Korpan.
Like many of her peers, Korpan uses the Internet as her main source for news.
Patrick Petracek, a geology major, uses online reports to find out what is going on in different parts of the world. It also gives him the chance to examine the accuracy of what he reads.
“You can look at information and then you can search it up and confirm it,” said Petracek.
Korpan and Petracek not only break the stereotype that youth aren’t interested in news but they also shatter the assumption that all students are on Facebook or Twitter. Both have abstained from the popular social networking sites.
“No I don’t have Twitter and I don’t have Facebook. I’m a disgrace to my generation. I just don’t have an interest in it and I find they’re more of a distraction and I’d rather establish relationships in real life rather than doing everything electronically,” said Korpan.
For Petracek it is more a battle of wills. “I don’t want to give in to my friends. I probably will go on eventually but now I’m just doing it to be stubborn,” said Petracek.
The Internet may dominate how students consume news but that doesn’t mean that the more traditional formats are being disregarded. Although education student Mia Olson frequents the CNN website she also enjoys the local newspaper.
“I read the Leader-Post every day. Stuff that’s going on in our city, that’s why I read it,” said Olson. She also watches Global news. “I like to see the videos, the actual live part of what’s going on,” said Olson.
Remy Putz enjoys the local prairie dog magazine, which for this left-leaning English major is a better read than the Leader-Post. “I stopped reading the Leader-Post because it was horribly written,” said Putz. After taking a media class, Putz became more aware of a slant in mainstream media and chose to focus more on independent outlets like the prairie dog. “I kind of identify with it more, plus the local coverage is more interesting,” said Putz.
The students of the U of R demonstrate that despite online news being the number one choice there is still room for the ‘old dogs.' It appears the only news source being left in the dust is radio, as many students said they did not turn the dial. Radio’s future appears grim but podcasts may be its natural evolution.
Photo by Deborah Shawcross