90 per cent of journalism students don’t read newspapers. 95 per cent of journalism students have a keen interest in news.
Even after acknowledging the fact that nobody tells the truth on polls, you’re faced with a very simple reality: hard-copy news is dying a languishing death. For most people, newspapers are simply impractical; when you can read the latest news updated throughout the day, why would you invest in a stack of poor-quality paper that’s already out of date?
However, this 2009 study conducted by journalism academic Alan Knight (then at QUT, now at UTS) reveals another aspect of journalism student culture that is slightly more troubling. Not the fact that newspapers apparently have too many ‘long-winded articles’ – the fact that newspapers are unpopular because you have to pay for them.
This is logical, of course, because free is good, but these are journalism students we’re talking about. They’re actively avoiding funding their own industry. It’s like film students pirating movies, or bands pirating music. Even if it’s a protest against the state of journalism, it’s a counter-productive one: how do you improve the situation without money to fund improvements?
Buy newspapers. If you don’t, at least compulsively refresh news websites. Click on the ads every once in a while, even if it’s just to close them again. Just don’t gut your own future.
Want to contribute to our list of the 100 articles every journalist should read about journalism? Full details here.