Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Today the Seattle Post Intelligencer published its last print newspaper. The journal will continue its presence online with a smaller staff. I feel sad at the demise of print media. I once worked at a college newspaper cutting and pasting with wax to layout stories for printing. Look how far I've come from worrying that I had the type pasted in a correct manner to typing pixels, and then sending them off to the world with one click of a mouse!

This ease of communication is amazing but also tragic as children in the future will not know what it is like to feel the natural texture of paper in their hands while they read or will be more isolated from their immediate environment in a web community. This was brought home to me when my daughter's acquaintance talked about her social network being in several different countries. The danger of having an Internet based news source is that many news companies feed off the same information pipes. There is no need to be original or local. Furthermore, there is the problem of those who do not have access to a computer. How will they get indigenous news?

I knew, as a blogger, that the end of printed media was inevitable. The new medium of the Internet has superseded an old form. However, this replacement may not be a salve for information acquisition and knowledge. There is more data but users tend to enclave in their own specialties and networks. A printed newspaper offers with, at least, its headlines the potential to put forth ideas for a common intellectual language. In the end of print, there is no shared lexicon and, as citizens, we have less to speak of with one another.

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