Lately, the decline of newspaper readership has been a hot topic as many companies have announced revenue losses. Newspaper companies have been devastated by this unfortunate situation – loss of jobs, loss of revenue and, ultimately, it could mean loss of print news.
Many Americans also attribute the decline of newspaper readership to an uneducated youth. But there is a positive side to this unfortunate situation. Despite claims that the decline in newspaper readership means college students are apathetic about politics, my experience in Washington, D.C., has taught me the opposite.
In fact, the decline in newspaper readership is an indication of creative ways to reach college students. If I have learned anything by my experience in Washington, D.C., it’s the importance of social media taking over as the primary outlet for news.
Kristine Fitton, managing director of Glover Park Group, said, “Social media is the turning point for reaching college-age students.” Fitton is one of the many speakers on the Hill who emphasized the importance of social media to reach young adults.
Mike Feldman, founding partner of the Glover Park Group, has also moved beyond the conventional communication tools and instead utilizes films to “accelerate a conversation about issues.” He is the genius communicator behind movies such as “Blood Diamond” and an “An Inconvenient Truth,” which embed “a social campaign” to incite discussion about important issues.
Many of the speakers reiterated the message that social media will get college students interested and educated about politics. Although this may not bring relief to the newspaper companies that are losing revenue, at least we can be hopeful about the power of social media to excite college students about politics.