The digital revolution has dramatically transformed the world of news. Traditional newspaper readers have moved to getting information on their computers and mobile devices. Craigslist has undermined print classified ads and digital advertising money hasn't made up for print's loss of revenue. What does that mean for the future journalists?
South Dakota State University Student Nick Lowrey is the editor-in-chief of the Collegian, the university's newspaper.
He and his fellow journalism students work hard to put out a weekly edition to gain practical experience for real-world jobs. But today the question is more and more, what will that job look like?
"If I look at it in the next 20 years, the print edition may not be there, but there will still be the e-edition. It will be on your iPad, your tablet. Whatever tablet we're using 20 years from now; that's where you'll read your newspaper," Lowrey said.
"I tell my students that the newspaper industry is a very viable industry because I think it is. I think a lot of larger newspapers are struggling and I think ad revenues are struggling. Obviously circulation has declined in last several years. But I think this is an exciting time for newspapers because they, like all media, are evolving," Collegian Advisor Susan Smith said.
Exactly how the evolution will turn into a sure-fire business model for making money is still anyone's guess.
"It certainly is a struggle to find pathways to profitability in this," Dave Bordewyk said.
Bordewyk is General Manager of the South Dakota Newspaper Association. He says his members are in the process of figuring out the right mix of print and digital to make a profit.
"It's sort of like having a foot in two worlds: a print as well as a digital and striding that transition," Bordewyk said.
"I'm confident the industry will figure out how to make money. They'll figure out how to bridge that gap," Lowrey said.
4,500 print copies of the Collegian are distributed on campus every week. And the newspaper doesn't see that going away anytime soon. However, it gets about a thousand hits on its website every day.
"Last week, we had a video story accompanying a print story. We are trying to do as much of the multimedia kind of things as possible. They are going to have to know how to do that when they get into their professional life," Smith said.
Newspapers that are seeing the biggest decline in circulation are those from medium to large markets. In Monday's Eye on KELOLAND, we'll look at the future of print and hear from the publisher of South Dakota's largest newspaper.