Pulp and silicon can get along

There is nothing quite like a morning cup of coffee and a newspaper.

While we might embrace technology, move forward with the times and grow as we go, we must never forget our rich traditions, core values and the wants and needs of our community.

People who — shall we say — have been around for a while, sometimes like to try to think for successive generations when in fact they can think for themselves quite nicely.

Our colleges and universities in Georgia are full of bright ambitious students who want to graduate and report the news.

While they may love their tablets, their smartphones and their laptops, they want to write for a newspaper.

That’s right, Georgia benefits from one of the strongest college press associations in the nation.

So many of the students who make up the Georgia College Press Association are not only writing for the traditional printed edition of their college newspaper, they are working their summers as interns at newspapers across the state and applying for jobs as government reporters, feature writers, crime beat journalists and entry-level editors.

They are ready to get a little ink on their hands.

While not scientific and not part of some detailed survey, when you talk to these students and ask them how they prefer to get their campus news, over and over again they say, “in the newspaper.”

In a world where a generation of newspaper people who are on the downward slope of their careers are convinced that traditional newspapers are on the same downward slope, the emerging generation of professionals, young families, a new workforce, rising community leaders and fresh journalists are not so sure.

While newspaper insiders are having conversations about being digital first, smartphone first, tablet first or print first, our successors don’t really understand that discussion because they believe in putting community first.

They are more concerned about the journalism than they are about the format.

They are more concerned about the conflict between elected officials and voters than they are about any conflict between silicon and pulp.

They see the relationship between the two as more of a marriage than a divorce.

We share the values of young journalists who still have idealism and energy and want to tell stories about people while holding government accountable.

In this edition we are happy to share a column written by a colleague, Leonard Woolsey, publisher of Times-Georgian, Carrollton, and Douglas County Sentinel, Douglasville, as he tells the story of his teenage daughter and her desire for the printed copies of the local newspaper for herself and her friends.

Read and enjoy.

— By Editor Jim Zachary