Internet Killed the Newspaper Writer

24 11 2008

If the Bristol Press cannot find a buyer for their newspaper by January 1st then the paper will shut down. This leads me to my topic of local newspapers being shutdown by online newspapers which are read more widely now then ever. The focus on the digital age has lead to the downfall of both paper and ink. In this digital age people want their news streaming to them, and all customized as they see fit.

The online newspaper is in fact how I receive my news. I have two tabs which display two different forms of online news coverage, New York Times and CNN websites offer a variety of customizable news coverages ranging from from broad to specific beats. In my article Forms of the News, I already went over the significant differences so I won’t elaborate on them right now. But really why the change? Why the need for this streaming news? Maybe because it’s simple, it’s convenient, but really try explaining that to my grandfather.

It’s the simple things. It’s the local coverage of my small town. It’s the news on local skate parks fighting with the bikers. The local fundraisers and food-drives,the local highschool football coverage every Friday night. The texture, the smudges on your fingertips, the crisp smell of fine print just dripping from the pages. These are things which will be lost to my children’s children perhaps forever.

My grandfather worked at the Press. He said the parking lot would be filled with people. The place was  hive literaly bustling with writers and editors. But now there is at least half a dozen reporters. Even the people there now must understand that the thirst for local news is quenched, by a faster service provided by online news publications.

In the future we will all be are own journalists. We will cover the local stories and report on our local news blogs. Everyone can comment with first person  accounts of what they saw and be critiqued by their peers. Each comment can be edited,modified, and viewed by everyone who has logged in. News will be streaming at us spoon-fed. It will be not be rich, it will be sweet like nectar but it will be bittersweet. We will have lost the appeal of a physical presence of the paper. The nostalgia will be lost, but it will be a significant time before the presence of papers is wiped from our society. Children will access news via their console stations. Play a little Mario and check your stocks. The digital age of the future is upon us, repent the digital age is nigh.

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3 responses

24 11 2008
Steve Collins

Local news will never be available in any coherent way without something like a daily paper, whether it’s in print or online. Bloggers and such — which I am, too — can’t fill the role of professional reporters and editors.
What’s happening at the Press is a tragedy.

25 11 2008
finnmccool87

It is a shame Mr. Collins I read the Press everyday. I believe your true about coherent local news. I don’t expect everyday blogger to replace journalist but I believe there is a damaging shift now for online news .

26 11 2008
Jess

There was an interesting panel discussion with some of these elements at Tunxis the other day.

I think a nice solution/compromise would be an accredited local news blog/website featuring educated journalists, reporters and editors. Basically, all or most of the elements of a local paper but in a digital format with less overhead cost.

If done in an uncluttered and professional way it would serve the community just as well.

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