The New York Times Campus Readership Program has been quite the boon for Binghamton University. Students and faculty alike now have access to a valuable news source all over campus and it’s entirely free of charge.
Despite what a number of people think, the physical newspaper is still a valuable source of information. Besides, not all of us have smartphones or tablets, and the paper provides a good way to spend time between classes or something to do while you’re eating lunch. Don’t be afraid to pick one up, even if it’s just to skim the headlines.
But we’ve gained a lot more than meets the eye thanks to the program. Our campus had the privilege to see David Corcoran, the editor of the Science Times, who gave a presentation in the Mandela Room, thanks to the campus’ partnership with the Times.
It was implied that his visit wouldn’t be the only event of this kind, and with no journalism major at BU, this type of thing could be a wonderful resource for prospective journalists on campus.
That said, I’d like to put a lot of emphasis on “could,” because, to be honest, I felt as though I walked out of the presentation empty-handed — other than the array of cheese and crackers that were served.
Now, I’m in no way ungrateful for Corcoran’s visit to campus, and I’m not blaming him or the Student Association for my disappointment.
It’s the fact that a lecture from the Science Times editor, instead of focusing on science, was a short talk about how things sure have changed for the Times, followed by an extended question-and-answer session from distressed students wondering how to break into the business during such a tumultuous time for the industry. Is this the state journalism has fallen to?
If aspiring journalists are anything these days, they’re definitely worried. Similar to other majors in the humanities, societal pressure gnaws at journalism majors with the ever-asked question: “What are you going to do with this?”
It would be silly to deny that journalism is going through some major pains. The digitization of not only the industry, but our entire world, has print journalism on thin ice.
Those wanting to break in throw themselves at the feet of those already in the business and barrage them with the same old tired questions as though they were some sort of soothsayers.
“Where do you think the industry is going?! What do I do to get a job?! What do you want from me?!”
The truth of the matter is that most of these people are just as unsure of the future as the rest of us are. They are even more uncomfortable than us, since the technology is even more foreign to older folks. But journalism in its entirety is in anything but a precarious position. It’s evolving, not dying.
People will always want to stay informed — though I may be a little optimistic in saying such a thing — and, luckily enough, it’s becoming easier and easier to spread and find information. We’re in an age of information and while journalism is no longer bound by the printing press, it has jumped headfirst into the Digital Age. Journalism now consists of everything from The New York Times to blogs and tweets.
As the rising generation it’s time to realize that only we can answer the questions which plague us. Journalism will always be with us; it just looks a little different.