Don’t read the newspaper? Don’t brag about it.

In Media on May 30, 2009 at 6:56 pm

After posting comments on numerous blogs, most of them business-related, I’ve decided to start my own. Of course, it’s more involved than I thought. (Silence, wife!) While I’m learning the drill, I’ll toss out an opinion to get things started. For this first post, full disclosure: my degree is in Journalism, and I started out to be one.

The past few years  have seemed like one long obituary for newspapers. Fewer people than ever interact with a printed newspaper on a daily basis. And, at least according to the college classes I teach (admittedly the least newspaper-friendly demographic), they aren’t flocking to newspaper-run Websites, or even news networks, as an alternative, either. So it’s not a case of “why buy it when I can get it free?”  It’s more like, “I don’t have (i.e. won’t make) time for the news; besides, I’ve got social media to keep me informed.”

As a writer, that bothers me. I am as or more comfortable with the Facebooks of the world than the next dinosaur.  Even make daily use of them.  But… typing ability doesn’t make you a writer, any more than putting on a white jacket would make me a doctor. Newspaper articles, and the people who write them, have experience. Credibility. Talent. They’ve survived because they do it right, and they do it well.

All it takes to post “content” on the Web is a laptop and an opinion. (With or without anything behind it.)

Please remember the difference. And be careful whom you trust.


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