Dec 13, 2010

News apps a growing trend among college students

More are getting news from phones and Internet rather than newspapers or TV
Before Bowling Green State University sophomore Max Filby heads to class every morning, he checks the day’s news.

But he doesn’t have to go to a newsstand, or in his case, the front desk of Founders Residence Hall. Filby simply grabs his iPhone and scrolls through the New York Times on an application.

“Every day when I get up I check my iPhone,” Filby said. “I grab it and look up the New York Times app and see what the top headlines are, see if there’s anything interesting to read or tweet about.”

Though the New York Times is usually delivered to the residence halls on campus, Filby said that’s not always the case.

“The New York Times costs a lot of money, and the app is pretty much free,” he said. “I live in Founders and sometimes they don’t always deliver the papers over there.”

A growing trend
Filby is part of a mass trend of people following news on the go.

About 33 percent of people read news stories online, according to When newspapers first began publishing stories on the Internet, they attracted anywhere from 2 to 4 percent of the population.

So, while printed newspaper readership is falling, online news readership is climbing.

But Filby doesn’t think that this will cause the death of newspapers.

“News is always going to be around,” he said. “No matter how people read it, it has to come from somewhere.”

It's the only way some get news
Meg Kettinger, a junior at BGSU, said she hardly ever checked the daily news before she got her droid phone.

“Whenever I go to that screen on my phone, it shows me all things, from news to celebrity, stuff like that,” she said. “I think [apps] are popular because…you don’t have to pick up a newspaper and read the stories, you don’t have to sit in front of your TV and you don’t have to sit in front of your computer because now they’re on your phone. And who’s not on their phone all the time, in this day and age?”

Before Kettinger got the news on her phone, she said she did not really keep up with current events. 

When she would watch TV and the news came on, she would not watch the news. And when she surfed the Internet, she was not looking for news stories.

“When I got my phone it was more helpful to keep up with things because I had an app rather than literally having to change the channel,” Kettinger said.

Future of newspapers not in trouble
Sarah Culmaker, a BGSU alumnus, said she would call herself a “news junkie,” and spends a lot of her time looking up stories on her iPhone.

“It’s mostly celebrity, gossipy stuff like that,” she said. “I still pick up the newspaper, but not as much as I used to. For those national and international stories, I think it’s hard to get those in the local paper.”

Culmaker also said she didn’t think the presence of online news would cause the death of newspapers.

“It’s just a different way to read the same news,” she said.

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