The third post in our summer-intern blog series was authored by Kristen Marchus from Gonzaga University. Posts by Forrest Hanson and Meaghan Davison can be found here and here, respectively. You’re up, Kristen!
– Bri and Dave
I am convinced my love of the newspaper and current events began at a young age. When I was growing up, one of my favorite parts of the weekend was reading the Sunday newspaper. At first, I would skim the actual newspaper and then move on to my favorite part, the Sunday advertisements. I loved looking at all of them, especially Target, Mervyn’s, Best Buy and the coupon specials. Eventually as I grew older, I spent more time reading about current events and less time on the weekly ads, advice columns and horoscopes.
I have always loved the newspaper, but I became a certified “news junkie” during college. I am a recent graduate of Gonzaga University, a private Jesuit university located in Spokane, Washington. It has a small, beautiful campus and a very well known basketball team, but none of these things were my favorite part of my college campus. My favorite part of Gonzaga was the free New York Times and Spokesman-Review newspapers for students.
Throughout college, I would read the free New York Times newspaper daily. I would go into my classrooms early to sit and read. When other students arrived for class, some would ask me, “Do you have to read the newspaper for a class?” I don’t think I ever met another student who took full advantage of the free newspapers or who understood my personal interest in reading the news. Sadly, almost every day stacks of outdated newspapers were recycled.
I believe my love for current events and the news was one of the many reasons I switched from studying business to a public relations major late in my sophomore year. The more upper-division public relations classes I took, the more certain I became public relations was the field I wanted to pursue. And after completing multiple internships, it has become obvious that a huge part of a public relations practitioner’s job involves reading and scanning the news for client, competitor and industry news.
Over the last couple of years, my news habits have migrated from the daily newspaper to the Internet and my iPhone. I am a big fan of the free New York Times app, but also follow local news through the San Francisco Chronicle and Contra Costa Times websites. But since graduating and moving back to the Bay Area, I have felt a void, as I no longer have access to the free newspapers. On Sunday mornings, I do not like eating breakfast in front of my computer and checking out the weekly Target sales via the Internet. I really miss having a physical newspaper in front of me.
That is why contrary to all the reports of newspaper circulation and sales dropping, I just ordered home delivery of The San Francisco Chronicle. Newspaper and magazine circulation has been in decline for many years, while the popularity of the Internet and especially the iPhone and iPad apps have increased tremendously. I am very interested to see how magazines and newspapers use these mobile devices to help restore circulation. I am also certain that my now free NYT app, will not be free much longer.
Call me old fashioned, but I can’t imagine getting all my news via the Internet, Twitter and Facebook. Don’t get me wrong, I also consider myself a fanatic of social media. While I am positive social media and smart phones are changing the way we connect with people, shop and learn about emergency situations, I also know that I will always love reading the actual newspaper. This means tolerating the black ink on my fingers, going outside to get my own newspaper and dealing with wet newspapers in the winter, but for me it is totally worth it.