Is the death of the newspaper upon us?

With graduation rapidly approaching, my days have become consumed by the activity that all seniors have come to loath: the job hunt. As much of my experience revolves around working for The Lamron, my first inclination was to get a job working for a newspaper. In the midst of my search however, I've come to realize that the death of the newspaper is upon us.

Although that is a somewhat dramatic statement to make, it is not entirely off base. The Internet is invading the newspaper's territory like Sherman's campaign through the South, only not as forgiving. The growing trend of people accessing their news online has drastically cut the number of subscriptions which is an important source of revenue for any paper. In response, newspapers all over the country are jumping aboard the online bandwagon in an attempt to stay afloat in today's society.

Although I am somewhat biased on this issue, I have some legitimate concerns about this development. My main argument against straying from print to Internet is that I wholeheartedly believe society as a whole will become less informed. The very layout and construction of a newspaper is designed to compel a person to read it in its entirety. Stories are continued later on in the paper to force the reader to turn the pages and, consequently, see other articles that may interest them. When given the option to simply point and click or scroll down menus to locate an exact story, the reader has very little incentive to read anything else.

It is also important to note the level of credibility a newspaper has. Although it is true that you can't believe everything you read, newspapers, for the most part, have garnered the reputation of being an extremely reliable source of information, which is a distinction that they have earned through presenting accurate information. I question the longevity of this reputation if the Internet becomes the primary or, God forbid, sole resource for news.

I say this for the simple reason that the Internet is not a secure realm. It is accessible by virtually anybody. If computer geniuses can hack into CIA files, they can certainly navigate a local newspaper's Web site. My main fear, as paranoid as this may sound, is that information will be tampered with for whatever reason, and readers will go out into the world with misinformation. Events like this could seriously tarnish the repute of newspapers that have been trusted resources for decades. Who would we then turn to for our information, Fox News?

I realize that the move to online news is inevitable and already underway. What I am saying however, is that to allow the eradication of the newspaper would be a waste that would ultimately hurt the consumer. If my arguments have fallen on deaf ears, at the very least appreciate the nostalgia. Consider Carey Grant in His Girl Friday, the glamour of the old-time "newspaper man." Think about breakfasts with your family, each of you stewing over a different section, or in some cases, the chill of the early morning air as you walked your route delivering the Sunday edition of the New York Times. I for one know that there is nothing so sweet as the aroma of my morning coffee intertwined with the scent of newsprint.