Eight years ago, with the invention of the iPhone, the way people socialize and connect changed significantly. People started to rely more on online sources like social media apps and digital newspapers for their news.
The first online newspaper was released in 1995 by The New York Times. Fast forward 21 years, and online-only news sources such as Vice News and social media apps like Snapchat are a common way of receiving news, and they are quickly overtaking print publications.
A poll of MAST students conducted by The Beacon showed that only 11 percent of students use print media as their first source of news.
Meanwhile, 66 percent of students say they prefer to get their news from social media platforms such as Snapchat’s “Discover” page, Facebook, and Twitter.
However, only 33 percent said they trusted online sources as opposed to 66 percent who said they trusted print sources more.
If more people trust newspapers to get reliable news, why is most of the news they consume coming from social media or other online sources? Why is print still considered to be more legitimate than other sources, yet is the least-used form for receiving news?
A common concern is that there is no certainty that articles coming from the internet are being thoroughly fact-checked and edited, while there is absolute certainty that newspapers are edited with a thorough process.
Currently, one of the most popular news sources among millennials is Buzzfeed News. Their goal is to create easily accessible viral content and they rely on multimedia to report their findings.
“I don’t really receive print versions so I use online sources more. I always use online sources because they’re easier to get to,” sophomore Parissa Rohani said.
On social media, news providers can open up their own account and provide links to their website or provide quick 140 character updates about ongoing situations.
For example, during the Paris attacks, many news outlets posted minute to minute coverage of the event on Twitter.
This type of fast, efficient coverage is impossible for traditional print news to provide. With this shift, major newspapers have a website or social media account to allow their followers to be able to read their paper on the go.
Nearly 92 percent of teens go online daily, compared to six percent who report going online once a week. It is only natural that since teens are always on their phones using social media, the opportunity to read print news is small.
These changes in reading trends have swept the print industry as well.
A study by the Newspaper Association of America showed that print advertising is falling, dropping 1.8 billion dollars over the duration of six years. So while the future of the print newspaper industry is still uncertain, there is no doubt that news is going electronic.