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Schools Last Updated: Jun 5, 2013 - 9:21:09 AM

Paper Pages: Why Newspapers Should Still Be Printed
Jun 5, 2013 - 9:20:16 AM

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Kate Johnston
3rd Grade student at DIS

Editor’s Note: Kate Johnston, now a rising 4th grader, wrote this research paper about print newspapers for her 3th grade English class at the Daniel Island School.

How do you get your news every day? Some people think that we do not need printed news since we can already get lots of information on the Internet. I think that people should still read printed newspapers. American newspapers have been around for over 300 years and I think newspapers will be here for a lot longer. Newspapers stayed around when television and radio news started, so they will survive Internet news, too. I am going to show you why I think printed newspaper will stick around.
Many good newspapers have a paywall on their websites, so online news is not always free. A paywall is a system for making online newspaper readers pay to read digital articles. If you already have a subscription to a print newspaper, you can usually read online news for free (no paywall). The Charleston Post and Courier started using a paywall on its website in the spring of 2012. The Post and Courier gained $1.6 million and lost only 5% of its print customers to digital-only subscription. The problem is that the Post and Courier gained only 1,437 new digital-only customers, which is only 1.5% of its overall readership. Since digital seems to be a big part of the future for news readers, the Post and Courier is going to have to figure out how to get more digital-only readers.
People are "better" readers with print news than with online news. Readers of online news can be distracted by popups, videos, animations, and other browsers they might have open. When you read a printed newspaper, you usually read each page like a book so you are most likely to read the whole thing. Also, publishers of print newspapers lay out stories and photos in a certain order and way to show the reader what is most important. And studies have shown that people remember what they read from a newspaper much better than what they read online.
Many sources of online news are not as reliable as print news. People often write their opinions about things on the Internet, which readers could mistake for facts. Newspapers interview people and make sure statements are true before they print them. Things written in a print newspaper need to be true or the publisher can get sued; this is not the case with all information online. Some people can actually put things on the Internet that might not be true, and when people use it for a project, book, or newspaper, then other people will think it is true.
People should still read printed newspaper for many reasons. One is that online news is not always free. Another reason is that people read "better" with print news than from the Internet. And last, print news is more reliable than news found online. There are almost 1,500 daily newspapers in the U.S. today. It's actually a good thing that we can get our news from so many different sources. Just because the Internet is available that does not mean we no longer need printed newspapers.
1. Johnston, Jennifer. Personal interview. April 18, 2013.
2. Mutter, Alan D. "Why Paywalls are Scary." April 10, 2013.
3. Macdonald, Lachlan. "The Essentiality of the Newspaper: An Argument Against the Death of Print News." May 24, 2011.
4. Shafer, Jack. "Print vs. Online: The Ways in Which Old-Fashioned Newspapers Still Trump Online Newspapers." August 19, 2011.
5. Thorn, Victor. "Print Newspapers: Will They Survive?" March 25, 2012.

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