Since 1882, The Panolian Newspaper (located in Batesville, Mississippi) has been delivering news all across Panola County. It has helped thousands of locals keep up with what’s happening around their own community. However, in the new age of social media, people are starting to rely more on mobile devices to tell them what is going on around in the world we live in today ,and it’s not just affecting The Panolian, it’s affecting print journalism all around the country.
“Most people want news right now, even if it is the total truth.” Myra Bean, a writer at The Panolian said. “ Most readers overlook journalistic ethics in their pursuit of the news by the day.”
Myra Bean has been working for The Panolian for 27 years and has noticed the downfall of other nearby newspapers including The Southern Reporter (which was located in Panola County at the time) in 2013.
“Many [daily newspapers] have cut down on the frequency of their publications”. Myra Bean states. “Some have gone to [weekly newspapers]. Then the [weekly newspapers] have noticeably less pages and sections each week, much to the dismay of readers. Advertisers are not using the newspapers to get their messages out anymore. They are using social media which reach less people than the newspaper despite the number they proclaim.”
It’s not just affecting local newspapers, but it also affects local magazines. Rebel Nation Magazine announced in April that they were closing its doors. The magazine first debuted in July of 2013, and covered all aspects of Ole Miss sports for six years. Sadly, it became a victim of a harsh reality.
“People my age grew up without the internet so all of the information was provided in print formats (newspapers and magazines).” Greg Pevey, the founder of Rebel Nation Magazine said. “Young adults have grown up in the computer age where everything they need is at their fingertips online. People around my age still love and appreciate magazines and the feel of holding one in their hands, but the newspaper industry is pretty much going all digital now.
For some, Newspapers has always been their way of getting information whether it was for upcoming local events and news, or major things that is happening around the world. Many older people in Panola County are upset to see that newspapers are slowly going out of business and doesn’t want to see their county lose their main source of news.
“It hurts to know that few people are interested in having a physical paper in their hand.” Ethel McKinney, a retired nurse from Sardis, states. “With the new age of the internet, most younger people are hooked on that system of entertainment and many read very little.”
She was right. According to SproutSocial.com, in 2014, platforms such as instagram had been seeing a year over year increase of no less than 100 million in terms of monthly users. However, between September 2017 and June 2018, the number of monthly active users had increased by over 200 million. That is over 50 percent of what the rate of monthly active users was before 2014.
McKinney was born in Sledge, Mississippi but has called Panola County her home for the past 69 years. She makes sure that she reads The Panolian every Tuesday and Friday to see the latest news and upcoming events around her community. She also stated that she feels as if the younger generation does not read a lot of print and that falls on the parents.
“Young parents work and do not always require their children to read books or pay attention to their studies,” she stated. “The many technological inventions starting with television has played a large part in that. It provides vast hours of entertainment.”
The Panolian is one of the oldest newspapers that covers local news in Mississippi. They have cut back on pages and staff in the past few years ,but they have not given up yet. With the support of the older community, The Panolian will continue to publish every Tuesday and Friday to give us information about what is happening in their community.