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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Paul's Perspective: Newspapers don’t need batteries

  • When I became managing editor of The Rolla Daily News back in May, I was asked what I think newspapers need to do to survive in a digital age.
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  • When I became managing editor of The Rolla Daily News back in May, I was asked what I think newspapers need to do to survive in a digital age.
    I had said that newspapers are one of the last places you can get full in-depth coverage of news whereas the longest story on a TV station may be 2 minutes tops.
    But I also said that the Internet and social media should not be ignored. They can be integrated into our paper edition and add value to our print product.
    So newspapers aren’t dying. In fact, it is your technology that you should be worried about.
    Cassette tapes and VCRs are basically obsolete. Even emails aren’t fast enough anymore.
    Now, smartphones and tablets equipped with hundreds of apps are used to get information, but they all have one drawback: they need batteries.
    So that’s why this newspaper is better than your iPad mini or Kindle Fire HD.
    Newspapers don’t need batteries or outlets. Newspapers are compatible with anybody.
    Another reason newspapers are better? If you drop one, you won’t crack the front page. Try it. I dare you.
    You can’t roll up a iPad and squish a bug with it either. Or use it as a telescope.
    Using smartphones as wrapping paper could be very expensive…especially to wrap big presents.
    Newspapers don’t crash or need to be rebooted. Their pages always load and there are no pop-up ads in the print editions.
    I found it interesting last month as a followup to an electronics recycling event held at Brewer Science, the Daily News received a report that showed how participants heard about the opportunity to recycle.
    One hundred and one people said they heard about the event from a newspaper compared to one who found out by email, five who found out from the Internet and 14 from a radio station.
    Isn’t it ironic that the way people learned about an event to get rid of their old electronics that they say are outdated or no longer needed was through a medium that they say the exact same about?
    It’s probably also ironic that you may be reading this column online maybe on an iPad Mini.
    It’s true. The print edition can’t stand alone in a digital age, but don’t underestimate the value of holding a newspaper in your hands because you won’t be able to get that smell of ink from your electronic tablet.

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