>Introduction by Don White
Mark Morford Believes As I do — Let the Newspapers Die, We Won’t Miss Them, We Have The Net.
Newspapers are passe. It’s like when people abandoned the horse and buggy for automobiles. The Internet’s so much better, more flexible, powerful, and empowering. . . than newspapers ever were. Besides, I never did cotton to the ink all over my fingers when I read a complete paper all at once, I’d feel dirty and have to wash my hands. And since I don’t drink coffee, I’ll be among the millions who won’t miss nuzzling sweet rolls down with a cup of coffee each morning — as kind of a ritual, it isn’t!
The Net never gets my hands dirty — but it allows me a chance to differ with the writer and see my words in print seconds after I type. Yep, the old fashioned ways are coming to an end — you’d have to call or write (lately you could get on the paper’s web site and emote) your comments and see them in print a few days later.
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Speed — that’s always better — but don’t kill yourself– at least for me. Quantity — that’s always better on the Net. Infinite quantity, that’s it! And I can travel to Finland, Japan, Alaska, and Iraq all in a few minutes, and read their newspapers for free. What an education! As long as we stear clear of all that immorality on the Net, some of which we call Porn. Some of which is reall scumball stuff I call scams, half truths, and pitiful lies that are titilating your weaker self, the prideful and worldly you, the desire to make some real money on your computer.
Me? I stick to writing for HUB pages, Affiliated Content, Ezines, or something of the kind. They pay, but don’t expect to get rich unless your name is Morford and you write a nationwide column.
Here’s Morford, the more sinful and liberal of the two of us:
Die, newspaper, die?
The geek gurus all weigh in on the end of dead-tree media. Are they wrong?
The gurus are all aflutter. Shirky, Winer, Johnson et al, a smart, motley crew of big-name, big-brained tech seers and programmers and futurists have weighed in, guys you’ve probably never heard of unless you’re a SXSW Interactive event in Austin, Twittering your thumbs off as the digiterati elite strolled around like minor deities. ! regular or a co-founder of or have a fetish for hardcore database programming, or maybe if you were stargazing at this year’s big
It’s all fascinating stuff, sort of. In the wake of the hugely depressing shutdown of the Rocky and the Seattle P.I., and with recent death threats to the SF Chronicle and what looks to be a savage year indeed for print newspapers everywhere, these have all stepped away from their normal discussions of deep tech arcania and turned their attention to a 500-year-old technology undergoing its first epic, bloody revolution.
Each has fired off his own high-profile, widely disseminated, well-Twittered and blogged and cross-posted essay and counter-essay (or in Johnson’s case, a speech at SXSW), each analyzing and prognosticating about what’s to become of print newspapers and the classic, centralized newsroom model. If you have any interest in the future of news media, I highly recommend reading all three.
The grand upshot? They don’t really have any idea. But they have some curious, slippery, hopeful, but ultimately disappointing theories. Theories that, to my mind, consistently miss the mark, in at least one or two vital ways. …
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