Is Social Media Killing Print Media?

Is Social Media Killing Print Media

Is print media dead thanks to social media? You might be surprised. Let’s dig deeper into this topic below.

Consciously or not, we all rely on the media to tell us what is going on in the world.

However we consume news, it is journalists that tell us about world events, news, politics, and the latest trends.

Until relatively recently, newspapers and print magazines were a vital source of information, be that editorials, opinion pieces, news, or information.

The growth of the Internet has changed things a lot. Today, social media offers us almost instant access to whatever content interests us, whenever we want it.

We can find like-minded people and discuss our favourite topics whenever we want. We can get instant updates on the latest news, instead of waiting for a publication to “go to press”.

Social Media Changed Journalism

Social media has changed the core of journalism. In some ways, the changes are good. Now, breaking news can be reported on as it happens.

If there’s a huge event at 11 AM, then people can find out about it immediately, instead of waiting for the newspaper delivery at 4 PM.

If there’s a rapidly changing issue, such as the U.S. vs China trade war, or Brexit, then there can be daily or even hourly updates instead of a recap in a weekly or monthly magazine.

Print Media Still Has a Role to Play

Some people believe that print media is dying because of social media, however, it could be argued that print media still has some value.

Digital printing in Melbourne for example, still has a role play in getting news and other information out into the public domain, especially with Melbourne being the sporting capital of Australia with so many events held on an annual basis.

Another point to consider is that social media does present some challenges for those who want to consume quality news.

Firstly, because anyone can post to social media it is hard to be confident that information presented on there is accurate.

Secondly, even the content creators who do aim to produce high-quality journalism on social media are under a lot of pressure to “be first”.

Journalists are taught to verify their sources, to be unbiased, and to think critically.

Fact-checking accuracy and balance are vital.

In the world of print media, there are reporters, fact-checkers, sub-editors, and editors who provide checks and balances at each step of the way.

In the world of social media, a lot of these additional buffers are absent, and a high profile account could be operated by an intern who simply clicks ‘tweet’ or ‘share’ without thought.

Social media may be faster and cheaper, but those things come at the price of quality.

While social media is good for soundbites and for simulating debates, there is still value to having detailed articles, long documentaries and thoughtful discussion, and those are things that social media still lacks.

Some newspapers offer online versions of their content, often for a nominal subscription fee. This is one potential solution to the inflexibility and ‘slow’ nature of print.

However, researchers have found that people struggle to read very long, text-heavy articles on a computer screen.

It is much easier to consume large blocks of text on paper. So again, when it comes to the extensive study of deep topics, print still has a role to play, especially digital printing.

The Generation Gap

Around one-third of young adults (ages 16-24) consume news via social media, and that figure is growing.

The Internet provides easy access to news and lets people passively consume it instead of having to take time to go pick up a newspaper or a magazine.

Older people may be used to the ‘daily ritual’ of getting a paper, but for young people, browsing on their smartphone is familiar and comfortable.

Social media is most definitely challenging print media, and if those who make print media want to remain relevant they are going to need to find ways to differentiate themselves.

Whether that’s through ‘luxury’ appearance, quality content, or exclusives is up to each media company.

Demand for print is still there, particularly in the digital age, if the offering is good enough.

If you are looking for the best quality digital printing with the most competitive prices, please contact us at Impact Digital today on (03) 9387 0999.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Uploading files, Please wait...