Friday, September 4, 2009

D-I-V-O-R-C-E, 2009 style

Check out this outrageous claim:

“In this spirit-numbing information age, we gorge on the Web and on CNN, we cannot free our hands of our BlackBerrys and laptops and cellphones, but, in the end, we know less and less of each other, of our hearts, of our souls.
But Johnny Cash singing I Walk the Line or Hank [Williams] sorrowing through I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry still gives us more insight in three minutes, tells us more about what matters most in our lives, than we get in an entire 24-hour news cycle.”
– Sing Me Back Home: Love, Death, and Country Music by Dana Jennings, Faber and Faber 2008.

Is the Web more up-to-date than Webb Pierce? Has Google supplanted George Jones? Or is Jennings (an editor with the New York Times, by the way) just a country hick?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Down with the P-word! Let's rename newspapers

Newspapers need a new name.

The news part is OK, although perhaps unnecessary. But the paper part is dragging them down.

Dead trees, yuck!

The best newspapers are learning to compete online, using their large editorial staffs to research and present interesting material in a compelling way.

Most of them still publish a dead-tree edition, too. But I don’t know many people who think ink on paper is the future.

(Except my old boss. In 1995, when I was editor of the Winnipeg Free Press, I worked with Red River College and journalism instructor Donald Benham to create a Web site that incorporated text, audio and video. We demonstrated it in the IMAX theatre and impressed lots of folks. Then, when I got back to the office, the publisher ordered me to stop wasting the newspaper’s money and time on this Internet nonsense. But I’m not bitter.)

So let’s dump the P-word. No more paper in the newspaper.

What better word can we create?

And I’m open to suggestions for prizes for the best new name.