My, how times have changed. The ways in which we give and receive news are constantly evolving so much that we tend to forget about the original forms of news coverage still exist. We live in a world of 24/7 news coverage; all day, every day, we can receive the latest updates from journalists, reporters, and even meteorologists. We can even add news apps to our smart phones. You would think that with this level of access, many young people would be heavily involved and aware of what’s happening in the world. I have grown up in a generation that either cares very little about the news or simply not at all. The only things that seem to be important are which celebrity is wearing what or the latest gossip on social media. What surprised me last week as during my intern hours, was that one of the many forms of keeping up with information involves reading a newspaper; no not the online version but the actual print version. You know that folded thing you can pick up at your local Starbucks in addition to your espressos, frappuccinos, and scones. Yep that’s right. Newspapers are still around and people actually still read them.
As a PR professional (in training) I have to admit that I was completely floored by this realization. I had been so exposed to my generation’s methods of receiving news that I didn’t pay any attention to newspapers, which still exists today. My supervisor recently gave me a crash course on “Newspaper 101.” I learned what “above the fold” means where the columns are located and how local and national news coverage is presented. I even learned that newspapers are not free; you actually have to pay for them. I guess I got this confused with my high school days in which the paper was free, and, newsflash, I didn’t read those either.
Now that I have recovered from my initial shock I realize how helpful reading a newspaper can be, most especially for someone wanting a career in public relations. For instance, as I flipped through the local news section, I read a story about one of our clients. To actually see it front of me in print, was yet another surprise because I am so accustomed to seeing news through a computer screen.
I have now incorporated reading the morning paper each day. When I make my morning coffee run I also get my copy of the print version of the news coverage (yes I buy it for those who are concerned) and I read it from page to page. I must admit that it is a great way to keep updated information of not just about client cases but also about what’s going on in the world. What lies next for me as I continue on this journey of discovery? Should be interesting.