Editorial: Print is not dead yet


Maria Echeverry

Image by Maria Echeverry.

Story by The Baker Orange Editorial Board

When was the last time you read a form of print media – a book, magazine or newspaper? Was it recently? You are reading our current print issue right now, but can you remember what you’ve read before this? You may not choose to pick up a paper when you want to know the news – because that’s what your phone and TV is for, right? – and sometimes it seems print media has become more of a convenience than a necessity.

However, we have an alternative viewpoint. Baker Orange staff members used the following adjectives to describe print media: relevant, convenient, important and timeless. According to history, it doesn’t look like print media will ever entirely go away. There is room in the world for both print and digital media. Girls, you’re both pretty, so stop trying to kill each other.

Remember that ‘80s classic, “Video Killed the Radio Star?” But did it? Modern radio has adapted and survived with the times. Why not the same for print? Print publications may never be as successful and influential as they used to be, but there is definitely a place in the world for it. Print is not dead yet!

Digital media is valuable in our modern news-as-it-happens society. Therefore, print is rarely the source of breaking news anymore, but does that make its content any less important? Print media may be more of a read-out-of-convenience form media of now, but there is something of value in holding and reading a newspaper, book or magazine.

Isn’t it nice to be mentioned in a newspaper? To have your picture or quote used in something a lot of people see? Print media can be a tangible keepsake in those instances. Keeping an old faded piece of paper with your name/picture still provides emotional value to most people. You just don’t get that option with digital.

Sure, there are a few archiving sites that take screenshots of websites as a form of record, but it just isn’t the same. Some forms of digital media won’t even exist in the future and with it the content created with it (such as Adobe Flash Player being replaced by HTML5, or, heaven forbid, if YouTube suddenly adopted a pay-for-play business model).

Digital seems to be more distant; it is there but has, somehow, less value. When you pick up a book, newspaper or magazine, you know there was effort put into its creation. Much like kids’ drawings, love notes and postcards, print media are more tangible and thus have more significance.

At the Baker Orange, the decision to continue publishing a print newspaper, in addition to our online presence, has become an annual decision that grows more difficult each year. Our editors all want to participate in publishing print editions because of the learning experience and simply for the love of it.

So if you are one of our print readers, please visit the Baker Orange Facebook, page at facebook.com/bakerorange, and answer a poll about our readership. We are curious to see how many of you there are and how important our print issue is to the Baker University and Baldwin City communities.