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Students debate online v. traditional media

Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012

Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 16:10


Ari Yuki, Staff Photographer

Students take a break from homework to check news online while studying in the library. Many students prefer reading news online rather than in a traditional newspaper.

Although the numbers that appear in a study conducted by some media sources clearly show an increase of online news readers and e-book readers, some ASU students still prefer traditional newspapers and books.

Mashable Business revealed younger generations prefer reading news online. 65 percent of the 18-to-29-year-old group said the Internet was their main news source.

E-books are another form of technology that show people tend to rely more on computer technology rather than traditional paper books.

According to the Wall Street Journal, there are 40 million e-readers and 65 million tablets in use in the United States, and in the first quarter of 2012, e-books generated $282 million in sales, compared with $230 million for adult hardcover books.

In spite of those facts, ASU students still insist there are good points for traditional media sources.

“I like the actual paper,” said Emily Barrow, a sophomore social work major of North Little Rock. “Because I actually can hold the paper in my hands and flip the pages.”

Jana Minnick, a sophomore nursing major of Vilonia, agreed with Barrow.

“I enjoy reading the newspaper more than reading it online. I like that the actual newspaper is tangible and more relaxing,” Minnick said.

Meanwhile, some students pointed out the advantages of reading news online.

Charl Stander, a senior finance major of Pretoria, South Africa, said he checks news online every day while he reads actual newspapers about two to three times a week.

“It is easier to pull up,” he said.

Corey Wright, a senior interdisciplinary studies major of Jonesboro, added, “I usually get my news from the Internet. I check multiple blogs every day and that’s the main way that I keep up with what’s going on in the world.”

He also said he definitely prefers to get news online because he can access it anywhere at any time.

“It’s free, and I can also find out about things as they’re happening. Also, I can choose the type of news that I’m interested in knowing about,” Wright said.

In fact, students who prefer traditional newspapers are concerned that traditional papers are in danger of extinction because of young people’s transition to reading more news online.

“I think that since this day and age is becoming more electronic-based, that reading news online is appropriate,” Minnick said. “I feel like after the people who read the newspaper (older people) routinely die, then the newspapers might be in danger.”

Barrow agreed Internet can be easier. She said it’s what the world is coming to. Everything is going online now days and sooner or later actual newspapers won’t be here.

Jasmine Denise Liu, a sophomore in general studies of Jonesboro, has a different point of view when recommending reading news online.

“It is better for the environment because no paper is wasted. I think that people should read more online resources to reduce wasted paper,” she said.

As far as e-books are concerned, however, most students interviewed do not prefer them.

Liu said, “I have read one e-book, but I don’t like them because after a while of staring at the screen, my eyes begin to hurt.”

Lucas Hickman, a senior interdisciplinary studies major of Mountain Home, said he is not a fan of e-books, although he reads news online every day.

Stander added, “I like a normal book. It’s mainly because of the smell of it, the look of it, and just something that I grew up with.”

Barrow also prefers traditional books because she can turn the pages and see how much she has read.

Wright said that as much as he loves technology and the idea of e-books, he still loves traditional books.

“It’s also hard to get used to paying for intangible items,” he said. However, he added that he could definitely see how reading e-books would be really convenient.

All things considered, students agree that there are some problems concerning online media sources.

“Sometimes the media and Internet gives you false information,” Barrow said.

Minnick agreed, “Some of that information can be rumors or false information, which can lead people astray.”

Stander pointed out defects of e-books.

“Books might be heavier than a tablet, but you are ensuring of the material. You can have problems with Wi-Fi or something can go wrong with the software,” he said. “E-books do not get as much info on one page and you have to scroll down a lot.”

The statistics show people tend to read more online media sources, but ASU students revealed that the conflict between preferring traditional media sources and preferring online media sources is ongoing.  


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