News « Papers »… No More

When technology devours papers and most companies “go green”, what will the fate of newspapers be? When society is going against you to rip the word “paper” out of your name how will you fight back? Who even reads newspapers in this era?

I have recently started interning at AnNahar, one of the best newspapers in Lebanon, one that was able to defy all odds and stand tall after every hardship or change that was thrown at it.

Going through the doors of that immense building, the first thing I imagined was going to strike me was the smell of ink, yet I was surprised to smell a flowery-kind-of-odor.

As I was going in the elevator up to the sixth floor, I imagined hearing the loud noises of HUGE printers; yet silence was reigning.

I stepped out, only to find myself facing what I thought was a glass soundproof door, muting all the chaos of loud hectic journalists running all around the newsroom, rushing to cover every single story, but silence had stricken me once more.

Keyboard tapping was all that was there. Everyone was minding their own business, was communicating though e-mails and was occasionally asking a work-related question out loud. Journalists were calling multiple sources over the phone all day long to check the veracity of the news instead of waiting long hours for an official statement.

Most of the work done in the news room is social media-related, publishing local and world-wide articles on their website about a variety of topics that would satisfy any curious mind. Their success is no longer only measured by the number of newspaper sales, but by the number of readers, likes, shares, and subscribers.

I was in complete shock and my imagination was a bit disappointed. I had an idea about newspapers built up in my mind, the way we used to see it in old movies, big rooms filled with immense printers and journalists in chaos shouting everywhere. I thought going there everything will somehow shift into black and white, even my vision, but instead a cup of tea and some soft music filling the office were soothing the hectic journalists.

Whether we like it or not, whether we accept it or not, social media has become the new newspaper. The first and easiest go-to source for the latest news, trends and gossips.