I am disturbed by the diminishing depth od campus newspapers. It’s still happening here on campus in Norman. The Oklahoma Daily has one or two articles each day on sports, for example. I know the trend/thought is to move away from a printed daily paper. It’s obvious that is the way they are headed here.

It doesn’t always drive the reader to the counterpart on the Internet. For example, now, with reduced space given to the sports section, instead of reading about OU athletics from the student perspective, when I go on-line I look at the Oklahoman (newsok) or the athletic department site SoonerSports.com. I don’t visit the university paper’s website. Universities should promote literacy at both the electronic and the print level, not abandon one aspect because the audience is shifting.
Many, many people still prefer print. Papers didn’t go away when radio began. Radio didn’t go away when television came along. And none of the three are irrelevant with the rise of the Net. All have value, even if they are changing in their strengths.
It’s an argument similar to one I’ve long made about television and the ratings system. Just because a show gets a larger share of the audience to “win” the ratings war, it doesn’t mean the other programs that finish second, third or even last in the ratings are any less valuable to our society. In fact, the quality of their “ratings” may be greater. Popularity in numbers is not the only way we should measure our messages. If so, then we would have nothing but reality television, vampire movies and pornography available for consumers. Wait… maybe that wasn’t the right way to put it.
But please, people, respect the whole and don’t overvalue the part. AFter all, isn’t that one of the great things about this democracy we live in?

College Media Matters

Roughly 300 former staffers of The Daily Texan at the University of Texas at Austin have digitally signed an open letter criticizing the Texan’s overseeing board for its handling of the paper’s “life-or-death financial troubles.”  The Texan alumni are especially concerned about the possible elimination of the pub’s daily print edition, calling that pending decision “reactionary, short-sighted, and ill-advised.”

What is not in dispute: While the Texan’s journalistic prowess continues unabated, its economic outlook is in sheer freefall.  As The Austin Chronicle reported last spring, “[T]he student newspaper has become a shell of its former cash-generating juggernaut.  Advertising, distribution, and especially the classifieds revenue has all but evaporated.”

The paper confirmed its dire financial plight in an editorial earlier this week. According to top eds., the lack of revenue has led the Texan’s parent organization– Texas Student Media (TSM)– to consider ending the paper’s daily print…

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