In today’s world people are saturated with different forms of communication. From texting, instant messaging, to television and the internet, people are constantly in communication, with each other and the world. One form of communication that is becoming increasingly obscure: the newspaper.
The newspaper is seen by younger generations as obsolete, especially when you look at the instantaneous material that the internet provides. When breaking news happens people often look to television and radio for a synopsis of what happened, and then the internet for a deeper, written analysis. Rarely does anyone delve into daily or weekly papers for deeper analysis.
This lack of delving is apparent in a suffering newspaper industry. Between plummeting circulations and failed paywalls there is little hope that newspapers will endure through the next 15 years. Salt Lake Community College’s student newspaper The Globe is no different, the only difference is that its downfall is a result of bureaucracy from a clearly bias Student Fee’s Committee.
So the question then becomes where does The Globe go from here? During the next year does The Globe continue as is with a 50 percent decline in funds? Or does The Globe adapt to a changing industry?
Globe Editor-in-Chief, Ani Arakalian, recently reported to The Deseret News that she doesn’t think The Globe can survive beyond a year; this is simply not true. Instead of looking for money elsewhere there needs to be a change in attitude towards online content, and a serious shift of coverage.
Instead of taking The Student Fee’s Committee’s remarks as devastating, they should be taken as a challenge. The Student Fee’s Committee says that The Globe doesn’t cover issues that are relevant to students, so The Globe should work in conjunction with Student Life and Leadership, students themselves, and other areas of SLCC to shift content of the newspaper to be hard hitting and campus relevant.
Frankly, SLCC’s mass-communications teachers are teaching how to write relevant stories, it is up to mass-communications students to actually report the way they are taught. If the mass-communications students are truly interested in keeping The Globe around then they need to step up.
However, there is no doubt that mass-communications students need The Globe to learn how to write. It is as Globe advisor Julie Gay pointed out in a recent Globe article, “It would be similar to teach someone to cut someone’s hair but saying we can’t touch hair.” There is absolutely no doubt that mass-communications students need the Globe to be viable in the media industry and prepared to enter a University setting.
As opposed to what Globe Link online commentator “Harry Henderson” argued when he said, “It would not affect your writers, reports and other Editor positions. That argument is ridiculous.” The loss of the printed version of the newspaper would absolutely affect writers, reporters and editors. Many internships including The Deseret News, one of the few paying internships in Utah, require part of submitted writing samples to be printed samples. Harry Henderson, before dismissing an argument as ridiculous make sure you actually know what you’re talking about.
A major aspect of the media industry is convergence, convergence is such an important aspect of this changing industry that a course in convergence is one of only three required courses for a mass-communications major at The University of Utah. If The Globe looks towards actively teaming up with other areas of student media, content across all forms of media will improve.
Even though printing costs are miniscule The Globe still needs to reduce printing. At the very least it shows the Student Fee’s Committee that The Globe is committed to change. At the very best cost of The Globe decreases and The Globe gets brownie points for contributing to an environmental cause that the Student Fee’s Committee is actually committed to.
Another solution to possibly look to is turning production of The Globe into a work-study type class, if staff writers don’t care about what they’re doing now, maybe that will change when they’re grade is on the line. This may also force staff writers to allocate time to their stories, instead of turning towards quicker fluff stories. If that doesn’t work then the pay rate for staff writers should decrease, if they’re not writing relevant stories, they shouldn’t have relevant pay.
There are absolutely pragmatic solutions for saving SLCC’s independent student voice, there just needs to be a continuing attitude of action on the part of The Globe. The Globe needs to take on this challenge in order to save itself. This is only a difficult, not an impossible situation.