At the start of each semester, I ask students in my editing classes at UNC-Chapel Hill how they get their news. It’s a good way to start a conversation about the state of the news media and where editing fits in.
This semester, that conversation took place shortly after this report mentioned that newspaper readership is down among journalism students. With that in mind, I wondered whether my students’ responses would reflect that finding.
Well, yes and no. As we went around the room, student after student mentioned familiar names: The New York Times, the Washington Post and USA Today. A few of them mentioned The News & Observer or their hometown newspapers.
But these students were referring to the websites, Twitter feeds and apps of these news organizations, not the print editions. The only print publication that got a lot of mentions was The Daily Tar Heel, the student newspaper. (It probably helps that the DTH is free, readily available and publishes a crossword puzzle.)
So journalism students, at least in my classes, are still reading newspapers. They’re just reading them in digital form.