The Veritas News has been regularly published online since March 13. The final print issue for the 2012-13 year was distributed on Feb. 12. While being online has many benefits, some students have expressed that they prefer the print edition of the newspaper. Veritas writers Hannah Dawber and Hannah Zuccaro debate whether the online or print version of the newspaper is better.

ZUCCARO: Hey, Hannah! So the Veritas has been online now for more than a month. I think moving online was a great idea, rather than just having a hardcopy newspaper. What do you think?

DAWBER: Hello, Hannah. I think it is a neat idea, but I would have to disagree with you. I would prefer that the newspaper be printed and available to be picked up somewhere on campus. Going online was not a bad idea, but I definitely prefer to be able to hold the newspaper in my hands. Why do you think it is better online? Do you think it will benefit the Veritas in the long run?

ZUCCARO: I know what you mean, I do enjoy being able to pick up the paper around campus, but I also think going online was a good idea because in today’s generation everyone is always on their smartphones and tablets. It’s convenient for everyone to just go to the Veritas site online while they are already using their handheld device. It takes them less than a few seconds and they can read it from the comfort of their dorm room.

DAWBER: I do understand that, but, for me, I’d rather have something in my hands. I believe that iPads, smartphones, etc. have become a distraction in our society. People that use those products are sometimes taken away from the main point of the newspaper articles. I was recently talking to another student from ENC, Stacey Bryant, and he agreed with me. He said, “I like to be able to hold it; the texture of the paper and the smell of the ink are just invigorating.” Plus, not everyone has the means for a digital paper.

Today’s generation has become totally engulfed by the digital era. Like I mentioned before, we miss out on the initial reason that stories are told and displayed for us. If I am using my phone to read the news online, someone could text, email, or Facebook chat me, and then I would—like many other people—turn away from the newspaper and respond to whatever the distraction was. This could hurt the Veritas. If people become preoccupied with other things while trying to read the newspaper, the Veritas will lose readers for important news articles.

When the newspaper is in your hands, you are less likely to get distracted by the hundreds of things on an electronic device.

ZUCCARO:  I understand what you are saying about technology being a distraction; that can make readers miss out on the real meaning of stories in the newspaper. But I still believe [an online paper] is more up-to-date for today’s generation. Today, we are constantly thinking of new, cool ways to present things online to our generation. New products, advertising, selling, you name it—people are trying [to reach young people]. Also, I know some students love recycling. Not having a printed newspaper can save a lot of paper.

Another big advantage to being online is the number of issues the Veritas can do. Last semester and the beginning of this semester combined, only six issues were printed. The Veritas is now at a total of 14 issues, meaning there were eight online issues in about a month and a half. With the print newspaper, sometimes certain stories can’t be covered because of strict deadlines.

DAWBER: Yeah, the killing of trees is a downfall to the printed newspaper. However, I guess for me personally, having something in my hands is better to enjoy, read, and learn. I focus much more clearly and, essentially, love the feeling that I have an actual thing in my hands, like when CDs were cool to buy. It’s better to have the actual thing. Articles could get lost or erased online at any given moment if Veritas decides to get rid of [the online newspaper]. But I am with you that there are definitely pros to having it online.

ZUCCARO: You have some excellent ideas on why you think it is good to have a hard copy. My last comment would be that by having an online newspaper, accessibility is more immediate. Also, by having it online, readers can be interactive with the paper itself. For example, they can comment, share their opinions on particular articles, and watch videos. It’s right at the tip of the audience’s fingers.

DAWBER: Yeah, I see what you’re saying: Quick updates, important essential information, and videos are not something that will happen with a printed newspaper. But even after talking about all of this, I still stand by my opinion and would like to have a printed copy.

Veritas readers: What do you think? Do you prefer the online or printed version of the Veritas? Write in to the Veritas to voice your opinion so we can take necessary steps next year to make as many people happy as possible.