By Ginny Padgett
I am a proud 1975 graduate of the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism. At that time, it was ranked as one of the five best journalism schools in the country. Today, I am unsure of its specific national ranking but know it continues to be recognized for its excellence.
Even though print journalism was not my chosen concentration, I learned how to craft a story for newsprint, conduct an interview and ask questions from the floor at real news events, know the laws and ethics concerning freedom of speech, and realize the responsibility of becoming a member of the Fourth Estate.
In recent years, due to instant news via electronic means, newspaper readership has fallen to a point of near extinction. News is always happening. Our world is shrinking. We demand the latest information. We have the technology to make that a reality.
TV, radio, and social media outlets embraced this demand and rose quickly to supply it. Commerce saw the trend and identified a vast money-making market. Now billion-dollar conglomerates present news more as entertainment. Their networks dole out 20-second sound bites and conveniently packaged segments that fit tidily between commercial breaks. We have 24-hour TV news channels, talk radio, Yahoo news, FaceBook news, independent webcasts, and entire channels that spin the news to line up with your point of view, just to name a few.
However, since November newspapers are experiencing a strong comeback. Some papers are citing nearly a 200% hike in subscriptions. In fact, I have subscribed to two national newspapers during the last three months; I access them on my laptop and smart phone – the best of both worlds. This spike proves there is still a need for good old-fashion journalism.
To make sense of our rapidly changing world, we need solid reporting from trustworthy sources. We need in-depth coverage of stories that impact our lives. We need good investigative reporters who have a detective’s gut, a bulldog’s tenacity, and a knack for clear communication. This is the kind of reporting that is strong enough, valuable enough to be distilled for use on the air waves, as well as in regional and local newspapers.
Subscribe to a reliable newspaper today. Keep serious journalism alive.