Thursday's keynote speaker at the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention in Austin, Texas was Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Ken Herman.

National college media keynote speaker discusses the future of print journalism

(AUSTIN, TEXAS) – The future of journalism is online as newspapers seek to cut printing costs, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ken Herman told student journalist gathered for the College Media Association convention.

“The goal is to get rid of the print edition of the paper,” Herman said.

Herman said, noting printing and delivery costs are viewed as expendable.

“Newspapers were a little slow to realize the importance of the Internet,” Herman said. “Print doesn’t compare to the amount of people that can be reached by digital media.

It is all part of the transition, Herman said.

“There is more and better (news) covered online,” Herman said.

Herman used the example that if a sporting event takes place late on Saturday evening the Sunday print edition is going to advise readers to see the story posted on the website.

Herman has seen many changes in the news business over his career and said that there are people in the younger generations that will never pick up a newspaper.

“Younger people will not read it,” Herman said. “Ten to 15 years all newspapers will be moving online.”

In the 80’s and 90’s they told us we needed to get more young people reading the paper, Herman said. “Total failure,” he said.

Young people will grow older, graduate college, get married, raise children and begin paying more attention to the things around them, he said, noting that as people get older, they pay more attention to events. Yet that doesn’t mean younger generations will pick up printed newspapers.

Herman concluded his address by fielding questions from the student journalists about his career and the difficulties experienced with transitioning to a digital format.

Herman began his journalism career in 1975 and worked for local papers, The Associated Press in various locations and then the American Statesman in Austin, Texas, as Capitol Bureau Chief.

Herman won the Pulitzer for meritorious public service in 1977, while working the Lufkin Daily News.

“We should expose ourselves to things we disagree with – makes us better people,” Herman said.

Todd Bowman is a staff writer for The Picket. He can be reached at or on Twitter @todd_bowman87. 

3 Comments Posted

  1. “The printed versions of college newspapers continue to thrive, with

    students grabbing copies as they go from one class to another. It’s not
    unusual to see students reading about the latest campus news while
    eating a quick lunch or taking a break on the lawn.

    “It’s far less likely that the wired generation, raised with iPods and
    smart phones, is checking out the news on the newspaper’s website.”

    “‘College journalism … has much more in common with
    community journalism for the following reasons: TV news isn’t competing
    the way it is in larger news markets, and there’s a defined audience, in
    this case the university community.”

    • Again, Jim Lewin, Thank you for your readership and following the new platform at The Picket. I hope you took advantage and downloaded the mobile app from iTunes or your play store.

      I would like to point out that the articles you provided are at least a year old and one was originally published in 2010 and updated in 2014. I think you can agree that technology has advanced considerably since 2010. According to Time Magazine, some of the greatest advancements in technology in 2010 included the iPad, electric car charging stations and washing machines that use less water than ever before. I can assure you these three technologies have advanced since 2010.

      According to the article “it’s far less likely that the wired generation, raised with iPods, and smart phones, is checking out the news on a newspaper’s website.” That is exactly the opinion of someone from 2010. This was before mobile apps and push notifications. Please don’t forget that The Picket has a FREE mobile app that students, family, staff and community members can download.

      Also, the article “Students prefer printed college newspapers over online,” cited statistics from The Daily Tar Heel that publishes 18,000 copies, five days a week and is distributed at 205 different locations. The size of this publication does not compare to the student paper here at Shepherd.

      Additionally, buried in the middle of the article and at the end are quotes from professionals saying that there websites get more readers than print editions. Likely, a writer in 2015 would start with that as the lede. Consider a more recent source.

      The second article, “College newspapers are following students online, but will revenue come along, too,” is talking about newspapers that again, don’t compare in size, number of publishing days or size of staff.

      The Picket published once, bi-weekly, considerably less than the listed papers in this article.

      Buried at the end of this piece is also the following sentence “There’s an app…,” If I haven’t stated before, I urge you to go to iTunes or your play store and download our mobile app.
      Perhaps if you would help advertise our app in your classes you would see students reading our news from their phones as they walk down the halls, grab lunch or sit under the beautiful fall leaves.

      The second to last sentences sums up everything, “it’s an exciting time to be in student media.” It truly is and The Picket is doing exciting, cutting edge things.

      Also, as an educator, it is your job to educate and motivate students. Your public ridicule of The Picket, a paper that you claim to love does neither. All you are doing is publically ridiculing and humiliating the staff.

      Todd Bowman, editor-in-chief

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