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Paper and Ink are Important Part of the Future of Newspapers

Finding a stable industry in an age of mergers, failing businesses and employee "downsizings" creates nightmares for many college students who are on the verge of deciding what they will do to earn a living.

Nothing stays the same, but there are some basics that point toward a very bright future for journalists ... the writers, editors, photographers and artists who today are preparing for what is considered traditional communications careers.

The name of the game is CONTENT. And people who can create the content for the media of the future, regardless of how it is delivered to the consumer, will be assured of a lasting and rewarding career.

Rick Thames, a columnist for the Charlotte Observer, asks, "Newspapers a dying business? The same was suggested when radio and television entered our world. It didn't happen. It won't happen now, either."

"... newspapers have thrived for more than 400 years for one simple reason: They have hitched themselves to a basic human need," Thames wrote. "Communities can function as communities only if the people who live in them share a common understanding of what they are about. Communities need news, information and a place to sort out the issues uniquely important to them."

"To this point, no medium has met that need better than newspapers -- initially in print, and now also online. As long as newspapers devote themselves to that role, they will remain important to the life of a community," Thames concluded.

An article in a recent issue of Wired magazine made another powerful statement, "Newspapers are a $50 billion market."

If you have a question about how to best approach your future career in the media, feel free to click the Feedback button below and ask NJCPA. You may also want to jump directly now to more information about newspaper careers, choosing a newspaper to apply to and newspaper salaries.

Keep in mind that regardless of the technology ... the way news will be delivered ... the name of the game for journalists will still be creating the CONTENT that drives the media.

That means getting better at writing and editing ... and getting better at listening to what information consumers will buy and what audiences advertisers will pay to reach.

This article was written by Tom Engleman, program director the New Jersey Press Foundation. It was updated in December 2005.

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