If I had a nickel for all the times someone has quizzically asked me whether print journalism is dead, I’d have … well, at least enough coin to treat myself to a nice dinner out.
In fact, sometimes it feels that more people than not see the print medium spiraling into oblivion, to be filed away in history’s annals alongside the likes of the LaserDisc and the humble cassette Walkman. That’s not all: Traditional professional journalism continues to garner heat, with accusations of bias and unethical reporting unraveling the newsrooms of some of the world’s biggest media outlets. In its stead, citizen coverage of current events, personalized stories via blogs and social media, and other forms of New Journalism have risen.
The decline of the print medium is understandable: For the vast majority of readers, online journalism is the preferred method of consuming news, and the platform allows journalists to craft stories in cutting-edge ways. The journalism industry needs to get the hint: After all, those who fail to adapt merely go extinct.
As editor, my job is to make sure the Daily Trojan continues its traditions of strong original reporting and writing — elements we’ve dedicated countless hours to, both in the newsroom and out in the field. Honest reporting and writing is our bread and butter, and we will continue to train young journalists and give them a platform to shine.
But as editor, it’s also my job to ensure the DT is one of those publications that continues to thrive by adapting. That doesn’t mean setting aside our role as a newspaper; more than 10,000 copies of the Daily Trojan circulate each weekday and will continue to do so as long as readers pick them up. Adapting simply means expanding our emphasis on other forms of media, whether it’s through more photography, video or podcasts. And it means expanding our range of content styles and giving ourselves the space to experiment with new forms of journalism and fresh techniques.
Last semester’s editor-in-chief and a great friend of mine, Sean Fitz-Gerald, wrote in his introductory letter that he wanted the DT to be “the sounding board for USC.” I couldn’t agree more, but my support alone can only go so far. That’s why I’m calling on members of the USC community to talk back to us. About what, you ask? About anything — your constructive criticism, ideas for us to report on or to explore, encouragement when you enjoy a story or particular multimedia feature. We want students, parents, professors, deans and department heads to keep us accountable and to trust and work with us to continue the discourse. Our senior staff of 17 and our 150-plus writers work hard to serve the USC community, and in return we need the continued involvement of that community.
Feel free to contact me or any of our sections if you’d like to discuss your thoughts or simply meet the people behind the type; our newsroom is located on the fourth floor of the Student Union. And if you’re passionate about media — any form of media — please to email us about how you can get involved. We want to gather the best talent we can find around campus, whether you’re a pure writer or a cartoonist or a documentary filmmaker. At the very least, we’ll get inspiration from your suggestions.
After all, a dose of inspiration is usually all it takes to push us to do the very best we can, day in, day out. And as long as a USC community exists, we’ll be here — to cover news, to find the best stories and, maybe most critically, to continue to learn from the community itself.
Editor-in-Chief Eddie Kim is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism. He can be reached at