American futurist and writer Alvin Toffler once told a reporter who asked him about the future of newspapers to consider changing his job. It might sound like a joke, but the future of the print media industry is a grave issue today. According to the National Union of MediaWorkers, the number of newspaper subscribers decreased from 72.2 percent of the population in 1992 to 40 percent in 2005. This means that now four out of 10 houses or less are subscribing to newspapers at home.
Naturally, the print media inside campus is also losing its readers. The Busan Ilbo states that students hardly read print media simply because they are more interested in receiving good grades and getting employed. Ewha Professor Song Yoo-jae (Journalism) also says that print media will continue to exist, but its influence will continuously fall.
Currently there are nine types of print media published on campus. The Ewha Voice and The Ewha Weekly are part of the
Nokwon, which was established in 1956 has published 50 volumes so far and distributes about 800 copies every year. In the past, like many other print media, the content was closely related to the student movement and the ideology of the period. However, articles on school news and creative works by students make up the inside of today’s Nokwon.
Nokwon’s latest issue is scheduled for release in the middle of September, and the new edition of Badagada will also appear during the second semester. Badagada, which is an archaic word for balbagada (striving step by step), marks its 11th anniversary this year. Made by the freshmen and sophomores in the Pharmacy Department, it consists of interviews with professors, articles on past school events and information on the state examination for pharmacists.
Students who are participating in making these print media view decreasing interest by readers as a natural condition; however, at the same time they look for solutions. Lee Eun-hong (Korean Literature, 2), the editor-in-chief of Nokwon sees a lack of publicity activities. “The 51st edition, which will be out in September, focuses on the integration of all the majors in the Liberal Arts Department. By putting up posters and giving out fliers, we are planning to raise our name-recognition among students,” says Lee.
Members of Canard try to write articles related to students’ interest as much as possible. “Since it is written in French we include cartoons and information on must-visit restaurants to help the understanding of the readers,” said Canard member Cho Eun-byeol (French Literature, 2).
Song suggests the campus print media to look for ways to run parallel to similar Internet services. “The school print media should provide printed materials and online services side by side. However, they should also strive to provide the readers with a better quality of work.”