Vail Daily Editor and Publisher Don Rogers: Just part of growing up, I hope
Vail, CO Colorado
Well of course we, the purveyors, would denounce the devaluing of our high craft, journalism.
These days, it seems to be all about bits, bytes and digits. Not letters.
What’s the worth of an original story? Not so much right now.
Less work is sliced, diced and shared more. Bureaus drop off, blogs rise. This is our brave new world.
But I don’t believe it can last.
The taste for news and even proper journalism has never been higher. Willingness to pay for it has never been lower.
To borrow from the environmentalists, this doesn’t look sustainable.
“Experts” in Internet media who a millisecond ago laughed at absurd suggestions that the free era would have to end soon now “lead” the drive toward schemes for payment. Orbits reverse themselves easily in the blogosphere. Gospel turns to blasphemy and back again in a heartbeat, all intoned with a straight face, memory wiped.
“Expert” really might just be another word for educated lemming. Maybe this is true in all things, as I think about it. These elites have a record worse than woolly caterpillars in predicting winters, for instance. They certainly didn’t see all manner of crashes, bubbles or 9/11 coming, either. “No one could,” they explain later. That’s convenient, even if true.
So why do we keep listening to them? We keep trying to open our present that is the future before its time. Turns out God has a sense of humor. Alas, wicked sometimes.
In my biz, we’ve confused the substance for the form. Paper or … screen? It’s a big question, so the confusion is understandable.
I just think something has endured from what we did for millennia around campfires and then through traveling bards, Gutenberg, radio, television and the Internet.
Yes, I am a dim soul with no head for math who cares much less about the platform than the message itself.
Of course, I’m also a middle-aged white male and therefore too out of it and fixed in my ways to have a thought that matters.
Wisdom is just another word for “That dude still talking?”
But I’m not about to prophesize the end times for actual journalism.
I see our discipline in adolescence, fixated for the moment with chrome and gadgets. The next shiny thing.
Eventually we’ll grow up. After all, the medium is not really the message, just a rather juvenile truism, like “perception is reality.”
The story’s the thing, as it always has been and always will be. I’m certain we’ll figure this out, ideally around a campfire, the heart of it all, and well out of cell range.
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