The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

Loading Recent Classifieds...

Newspapers Are Old News … Or Are They?

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Physical newspapers are often said to be going out of style and that no one wants them anymore, and yet, news organizations continue to print daily, weekly and monthly papers in spite of rising print costs and the dawn of the digital age.

As everyone who has been on campus this semester knows, this is the first time in three years that the student newspaper, The Centurion, has resumed printing physical copies.

Tony Rogers, Journalism Professor here at Bucks County Community College and the one behind the printing operation and budgeting of The Centurion explains the problems he faced getting the paper back into print, “Printing prices have shot up since the pandemic and I had to find one that was reasonably priced.”

“I spent about six months getting bids from different places. For the editors, of course, resuming printing means getting back into the rhythm of producing the paper according to the printshop’s deadline, which can’t be missed.“

Across every single industry that uses paper, consumers and businesses alike have noticed the rising costs alongside everything else.

The publisher of USA Today and other local British newspapers, Gannett, estimated a year-on-year hit to the tune of around $23 million from inflation relating to printing costs and fuel prices alone.

Of course, with all these issues, there is a legitimate kernel of logic to the attitude espoused at the beginning of this article: print is dying, and the numbers are showing the general trend of physical newspapers in circulation declining.

Total estimated weekday circulation of U.S. daily newspapers was 55.8 million in 2000 but dropped to 24.2 million by 2020, according to the Pew Research Center.

Yet, despite the ever-rising costs of printing and scarcity of sponsors, Rogers is enthusiastic about the positive reception of the printed papers. “A number of people have told me how much they missed the paper when we stopped printing and how glad they are to see it again. Seeing the paper come out is another step back to normalcy after the dark days of the pandemic.“

Indeed, it does feel like the world is slowly beginning to return to the pre-pandemic days in many ways, and the return of the Centurion is analogous to the easing of physical lockdown restrictions in the last year and a half.

The world will never quite be the same, but at least we can hope that the hardest days of COVID are behind us. Rogers brings us full circle with his closing words: “I hope students read the paper. There’s a perception among many that print is dead, but the reason so many papers continue to print is because it still makes money for them. We will continue printing the Centurion for as long as printed papers are being produced, as long as there are jobs out there for people who can do layout and the other jobs associated with making a newspaper.”