Our duty as citizens

A couple of posts ago, I linked to a friend’s blog (www.lucidpoint.com) about how our federal government had prematurely released a video of Osama bin Laden — one that was discovered by a private tech firm that had hacked into our enemy’s network.

I also lamented the lack of news on 24 hour networks and confessed that, in recent weeks, I’d been negligent in my duty to keep up with national and international affairs.

In effect, I was complaining at the dearth of real national news available at my fingertips. Of course, that’s a lame excuse, what with online news services. Quite literally, the world is at my fingertips, 24/7.

Today, as I perused my www.netvibes.com feed reader, I noticed this post on poynter.org, a resource center for working journalists and communications scholars. It seems there’s a “whole big thing” stirred up by Roy Peter Clark, a Poynter online columnist. He says, in a column titled, Your Duty to Read the Paper, journalists must help save print media, by reading the newspaper.

I have no proof, but a strong feeling, that even journalists, especially young ones working at newspapers, don’t read the paper. That feels wrong to me — and self-defeating.
So join me, even you young whipper-snappers. Read the paper. Hold it in your hand. Take it to the john. Just read it.

Enjoy perusing comments at both Poynter columns. I’ll close this post with my favorite:

  • “How much difference would it have made if Kodak employees had continued using film cameras while their customers went digital?” — Bill Mitchell

  • http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=101&aid=131384

    6 thoughts on “Our duty as citizens

    1. Pretty funny, huh? I guess it was our duty as citizens to buy stagecoaches when the automobile first came out, and shouldn’t we all be using pay phones so they can stay around too?

      Of course, anyone that has a single semester of economics knows that this is the natural order of things, and the newspapers like the SWTimes need to understand they are in the news business, not the dead tree business, just like stagecoaches were in the transportation business, not the horse-drawn wooden buggy business.

      Is Roy Peter Clark serious?!?!?

    2. Anyone who sees newspapers only as a commodity, or product, deserves the loss of liberty that will occur when NO ONE is reading, and NO ONE is holding the powers over uis responsible.

      Ead, Think. Or be enslaved.

    3. Ah, but the question my dear ER friend, is about how we should consume that information — online, through the glow of a computer screen, or whilst experiencing the tactile sensations that go along with printers ink on one’s white clothing?

      My gut tells me we process information differently.

      I just can’t see us stubbornly clinging to newspapers because it’s how we’ve always done it. I want my fourth estate. No doubt about it. I just don’t know what format I prefer to digest. LED screens or inches of news print.

      I’m eading and thinking. 🙂

    4. It IS a good analogy. There still are wooden buggy manufacturers, its just that most people prefer their transportation in different forms.
      As for as what is news, it is a form of information and at the risk of nit-picking my previous statement, I would like to revise it to say that the SWTimes is in the “information” business, not the dead-tree business.
      Dead-tree information delivery devices will probably always be available, and there is nothing wrong with that, but digital is where it is at.

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