Most days one of my first acts is to retrieve the morning newspaper. With two journalism degrees and having spent the first decade of my professional career as a newspaper editor, newspapers have been part of my life for many years. But I know I’m a member of a dying breed.
Recently, a friend and I were commiserating on the uncertain future of newspapers. Across the country, most have seen significant circulation drops; with the economy, many are drastically reducing staff. With the immediacy of cable news and the Internet, the efficiency of current events on newsprint has diminished. That’s bad news – and good news.
Online is the future of newspapers – probably exclusively one day. We live in a high-tech world, and content of a printed newspaper often seems like yesterday's news -- even the day it's printed.
Things change: In the early ‘80s I marveled upon learning about USA Today using satellite technology to link regional presses and become a national newspaper. And was amazed to discover desktop publishing; the old cut-and-paste method now seems ancient.
Two years ago I purchased my first digital camera in preparation for my youngest daughter's wedding, and have not removed my old SLR from its bag since. When I got my first computer (a Macintosh 512K) in the mid-80s, after two days I permanently parted with my ole trusty electric typewriter. Compared to the computer, as slow as it was back then, the typewriter seemed like writing in stone.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” It’s true that fundamental requirements of society – transportation, commerce, recreation, communication, etc. – remain constant. But ways of meeting those needs do change, taking different forms. And that’s not all bad.