My 11 yo daughter called me while I was driving home last night, to ask me to pick up a newspaper so she could start her weekly current events assignment for school. Without thinking, I told her “you don’t want a newspaper for that, you need to get the information of the web where it’s up to date.”
Now I’ve worked with newspapers on and off since my days atthe University of Vermont, and I worked for Atex where we engineered newspaper publishing software for close to a decade. My grandfather was a linotype operator. For me to tell her that the print edition of newspapers weren’t the place to go for current events was a huge step.
The revelation: the print edition is all old news, yesterday’s news, in fact.
However, it was also particially incorrect. She’s certainly be getting newspaper content for her current events brief. It just won’t be from the print edition.
Strangely enough, I realized as I drove to the office today that the best way for her to put together her little weekly assignment would be to do the whole thing electronically. That way she could link back to the original content, using only a summary so as not to violate copyright and run afoul of the AP and their army of revenue enhancement lawyers. Now that would truly be a skill that all kids should be learning in school today.
So there it is, the point at which I realize I have no use save bird cage liner for the print edition…it is now as useful as would be one of those old linotype machines that were once state of the art in type setting.