Reading the paper is very important. Any newspaper will do as long as you get a healthy helping of international events. It’s important to know what is going on in the world. Alfredo Jaar was very adamant about this when he instilled this bit of wisdom in me at a workshop. How can you be mindful of your place in the world if you don’t know what is happening around you. How can you make it better if you don’t know what is wrong.
I love reading a physical paper, but in today’s digital world it’s hard to find the time for the dead tree version. It’s true the digital version is much more convenient, accessible, and even more current, but I find it hard to read, hard to browse and casually look for what catches your eye. The whole thing is just not as visually appealing, not to mention the ads that are constantly vying for your attention, distracting you, and sometimes literally covering the very content you are there to see.
All of this is why I find NEWScan so appealing (actual front pages from the print versions of 14 major papers) . For a visual person like me this is a great way to get your daily headlines. So much information in one quick visual browse.
I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot about the death of the Newspaper lately on the internets. It is very disconcerting. I’d much rather live in a world where I can read something that has been edited, researched, and generally vetted as newsworthy than a world where a video of some ten year old farting on his grandmother’s cake is deemed by the masses to be the content most worthy of my time.
However, right now, that seems like exactly where we’re heading. Every week a new previously unsinkable behemoth of a paper or magazine closes shop, unable to provide content in physical or digital form. What is going on?
Once again, I turn to my favorite internet pundit Clay Shirky. I think he may have the answer: “Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism.” Maybe even if newspapers don’t exist in the future, a new yet un-thought-of form will have emerged that will give me the edited, researched, and generally vetted as newsworthy content I seek. Maybe old fashioned papers, and people like me who enjoy them, just have to accept what is happening because as Clay says ” ‘You’re gonna miss us when we’re gone!’ has never been much of a business model.”