Payment for papers is justified

By Molly Brown

Contributing Writer

In recent years, the newspaper and magazine industries have seen a massive decline in print issue circulation, that is, the amount of subscriptions to a physical issue. With the advent of tablet editions of these publications, along with prominent news sources online, many of these publications have since gone to online editions themselves, often with a fee to access media content. This shift from being able to access news information from sites like The New York Times for free to only being able to access it for a fee, albeit a much lesser one than print issue, has made many readers upset. I believe, much to my chagrin, that this method of news access is going to become more and more common and paying for online subscription to news sources is indeed the future of journalism.

No matter how much I yearn for the days of broadsheets and non-catalogue formats of newspapers, the print media industry has been on a slow decline since the internet revolution. In the past, news has been available for free online, but as more and more big news publications are diminishing their print circulations, it is only fair that they seek to gain some of their lost revenue by making up for years’ worth of free access. Most online subscriptions are far less than their print familiars and there are special tablet-specific editions of these publications for iPad and other tablet users that can be purchased as one does an eBook or an app. At least these publications are catering to the ever-increasing number of new technologies so that their journalists might still have outlets to pursue a career in a dying field.

For those who do not like paying for subscriptions, the paper is not dead yet. The University has a great readership program that provides free issues of newspapers such as The New York Times and USA Today every day for student use. And there will always be information circulating around the Internet for free. But for now, I would recommend making memories of holding actual newspapers and books while we still can. Call me old-fashioned, but I would much rather pay for a subscription to the New York Times to indulge my Arts & Leisure and crossword obsessions, even if they go online completely one day, than not read them at all.

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