Are you reading this in print or online?

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The Wood Word, Editorial Board

At our last editorial meeting, the staff of The Wood Word launched into a conversation about the value of the paper’s printed edition. We wondered, “Is anybody reading it?”

With the rise of new technologies and digital innovations, more and more people (young people especially) are glued to their smartphones and computer screens. Poll any college classroom, and you’ll see very few hands raised when asked who has read a print newspaper in the past week.

So we wondered, should we make the transition to online-only delivery?

Online newspapers, magazines, and applications are making our everyday lives easier. News is at our fingertips – and is often free – on phones, tablets, and computers. With new videos, online news is more interactive and enjoyable to a wider audience.  There’s no question that online news is the preferred medium of Millennials.

According to a study by the Pew Research Center’s biennial news consumption survey, which tracks patterns in news usage, 39% of respondents reported having read news online the previous day, while only 23% of respondents said they read a newspaper.

Print news has been around for hundreds of years. One of the first newspapers in America was the Boston News-Letter, which was first published in 1704. Many people argue that there is, and always will be, something irreplaceable about holding a physical newspaper in your hands. For some, print journalism is more than a medium; it’s a tradition and ritual that has been performed throughout history.

The Times-Picayune, a New Orleans daily, announced in October 2012 that it will no longer publish a daily edition of its newspaper, limiting editions to Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. This makes New Orleans one of the biggest U.S. cities without a daily newspaper.

Is the death of print inevitable? We’d like to hope not, but the web offers so many more dynamic ways to present news that young people, and the generations that follow, may come to expect (and demand) a much more interactive and entertaining presentation of the news.

We’d like to hear from you, our readers, on what platform you read this editorial. Take our poll (yes, online) and tell us: Do you prefer to read The Wood Word in print or online?