Sunday, March 29, 2009

What Happens When a Town Loses Its Newspaper?

The way it looks today, the newspapers are going the way of the telegraph. As a
daily reader of the Akron Beacon Journal I'm somewhat divided about this fact. 
We need independent and accountable reporting in our cities to keep tabs on the
mob. And by mob I mean the organized crime syndicate we call government.

The Internet is certainly responsible for taking a big bite out of newspaper
circulation, but is this bad? Both printed paper and the Internet are mediums
of communication. One medium requires big printing plants, trucks, drivers,
printers and a whole bunch of dead trees. The other computers, electricity and
some wire that serves other purposes as well. Here is a quick review of these
two delivery systems.

Online Advantages:
* Online is significantly more eco-friendly than print.
* Online stories can appear in seconds, print can take up to 24 hours.
* Readers can publish editorials with print, but online offers ongoing dialogs
on a specific topic.
* Online can contain instant links to related video and audio.
* You can instantly look up a word or name that you don't recognize.
* You can read stories written by someone in Australia as easily as your home

Newsprint Advantages:
* you can read the newspaper anywhere you go, in a restaurant for example.
* Newspapers can be saved for archival purposes.
* You can use newsprint as a drop cloth or bird cage liner.
* Newspaper is good for staring wood fires.

Print clearly has the comedic advantage here, but it's actually the portability
factor that makes print still relevant to me.

Overall the writing is on the wall. Newspapers are on the way out, but not the
purpose they serve. We absolutely need local news reporting, particularly
investigative reporting of government. But still, what will I read at the
dinner table?

Here is a new media story from and old media source:,8599,1886826,00.html