Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 318: Extra, Extra, Read All About It...

At the time I snapped this photo I had some grand story in mind; a story regarding the dreams I often have of being a Pulitzer prize winning journalist. A tale of the wonders of the written word and how a headline can influence a generation. How the quote, "He who is a master of words is a master of men," is best fulfilled.

However, I believe that time is coming to an end. Not that people won't still read news, but I see electronic and visual media beginning to become a more significant force in news distribution.

Laziness is as much a factor in this shift of news distribution as the push for more a television/internet oriented delivery. People aren't as inlined to read as they once were. Why should they be? Instead of wasting energy going to the nearest newsstand, they can turn on a monitor. Instead of perusing an entire paper, they can click on any story that catches their eye. Instead of assimilating any number of words or ideas, they can lazily just watch images as they flicker in front of them as fast as an old tube or LCD screen can provide.

Maybe I'm just sounding old fashioned, but I see too depressing a shift. I wonder how long papers will remain as just that; paper. Even the most auspicious Citizen Patriot is soon becoming a largely electronic medium, only seeing three days of paper circulation a week.

Saddening really. As an avid fan of the art of writing and talking, I find this a serious blow to communication. Already communication has been stunted enough thanks to internet jargon and texting shortcuts. Grammar is being abandoned for convenience's sake. Vocabularies are decreasing as interest in reading decreases. Penmanship is suffering too, as the keyboard's relevance increases.


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