Staff Editorial: The Continued Value of Print

Why online is not enough

As The Economist so aptly illustrates, “If newspapers are dead, the corpses are oddly popular.” While news or novels can be made readily available if posted online or compiled into an e-book, the Foghorn staff believes that tangibility still has its value. Print is a more permanent incarnation of word. A publication demands the highest quality of writing and editing in order to avoid error and disarray. Therefore, there is a certain prestige attributed to a printed document: No matter the progress of the digital world, nothing will take away the honor of seeing one’s name and work published on paper.

While many argue that going fully and permanently digital is the wave of the future, we acknowledge how both forms may complement one another. To our interested readership, print is the physical commodity directly available on campus. Alternatively, digital publication is considered a supplement that expands visibility outside the usual audience sphere. The ability to share articles vis-à-vis an online database is something from which many benefit, though there remains a definite divide between the traditional reader and the more technologically dexterous.

It is often said that people only truly appreciate something once it is gone. Indeed there appears to be an underappreciation of print – whether the medium itself is a newspaper, book, anthology, or magazine. Many do not realize it now, but we risk losing the valuable impact print has on our lives – that is, if we believe digital is equally as poignant (if not, more so).

In the professional and academic worlds, the majority of our first encounters with information occur with print. Newspapers and books embody the human condition, originating to the initial advancements of printing technologies. While waiting in line at the grocery store, we instinctively stop at newsstands to get a sense of the world around us: whether it involves following up on a celebrity breakup, or learning about a Middle-Eastern conflict. This tactile, recorded history is intrinsic to our well-rounded understanding of civilization and culture.

The demand for print is not just a sentimental or nostalgic one. Rather, it originates from the basic fact that our society was founded upon its very existence. However, if it were up to the Foghorn, we would argue that the pleasure derived from that old book smell is reason enough.


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