Thursday, January 17, 2008

Newspapers: Anachronisms in the digital world

That funny crinkling noise you hear coming out of my cube is an anachronism here in the digital world. It's a newspaper, and I get the same kinds of looks from my gen-xer co-workers when they see me carrying one that they'd give me if I suddenly exchanged my Cisco IP phone for a rotary one. And I get the sense (or maybe it's just paranoia on my part) that they look at me, discern my generation, my demo, and figure, ah, he's old, just one more prop for the old guy, and they move on. I mean, you should have seen some of the looks when I told people I don't have cable TV or a microwave.

But, the venerable old newspaper has really lost its value. The amount of space and time frame that it takes to produce them really limits not only the amount but also the value of the information they dispense. I like to read them, still, but especially the Globe is so limited and therefore limiting. The Boston Globe has never really been more than just a really good local paper, anyway. So, I read them fast. Scan the stories, more for ideas and to spark my imagination and also to give me ideas to look for on the Web.

I used to read religiously three newspapers every day: the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the MetroWest Daily News. Now, it's lucky if I read a paper a month. I don't write for one anymore; I blog, and I quit blogging for a newspaper to concentrate on this one, and I'm thinking of shutting this one down. It's just that the less you read papers, then suddenly pick up one, you realize just how much it's always just the same. Or maybe it's just a characteristic of my demo. You get to be a certain age, or feel it like I have been lately, and you get the sense you've pretty much seen it all, that the names may change, but humans really don't.

1 comment:

CT said...

The LA times was a part of my morning routine back in my ciggie days. Nothing beat that post-alarm clock self-pampering; the morning paper, a hot cut of Donnie Frisco’s Hawaiian Hazelnut coffee, and a couple of Camel Lights to go with the occasional cinnamon raisin or wheat bagel.

Now, it’s The Economist and whatever happens to be in the fridge. I do miss the ritual though.

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