(Originally posted on July 16, 2010)
Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten reflects on the ways the newsroom has changed in recent years:
“Call me a grumpy old codger, but I liked the old way better. For one thing, I used to have at least a rudimentary idea of how a newspaper got produced: On deadline, drunks with cigars wrote stories that were edited by constipated but knowledgeable people, then printed on paper by enormous machines operated by people with stupid hats and dirty faces.”
He finds much wrong, to his traditionalist’s eye, in the new, Web-oriented way of doing things. He has some good points. He also seems to recognize what’s in the past is in the past and staying there. We all have to.
UPDATE: As if to underline my last line (what was my last until I started this), along comes a look at the implications of the rapid growth of mobile Web use, which within five years is expected to surpass Web use on computers:
“It won’t be enough just to build branded mobile applications that repurpose content across all of the different platforms. That’s like newspapers taking the print experience and replicating it on the web as they tried back in the 1990s. Rather, we will need to rethink, remix and repackage information for an entirely different modality than platforms of yore.”
In other words, if you think the newsroom has changed, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
This video may or may not make you feel better about it.