The real question is do you care about the fate of newspapers? This is more a testament to the value of text versus txt. As the younger generation seemingly moves away from the written word whether in a book or in a newspaper, what are the implications for society at large? Many are losing the art of constructing a grammatically correct sentence free of spelling errors. The brain processes images differently than the printed word. We have no idea what we are sacrificing by so readily abandoning words for pictures. Of course, Neil Postman talked about this at length in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death. But again, how many people have read the book?
Mind you, I love video but I am also an avid reader. And for the most part when given a choice, you'll find me reading instead of watching television.
Yesterday, the Editor and Vice President of Audience and Content Development Mark Silverman (who spoke to my students last week) wrote this editorial about the state of newspapers. Today, CNN.Com published this story about newspapers.
The question is who will read the articles about the demise of newspapers? Who will address societal apathy? Who will remind people about the value of the written word and not only give them a reason to read it but the time to do so? So many people are so busy trying to keep their jobs and put food on the table, they do not have time to pay attention to anything else. And when they finally come up for air, they do not want to deal with anything that is intellectually alienating.
This is really a terrifying time in American history, not just because of the terrorists, global warming, environmental issues, people having more and being less happy, the economic crisis and so much more, but also because the very core values of America are being revealed as suspect. The American Dream turned out to be a nightmare and few want to admit that greed was a very poor reason for success. It's time for our nation to reinvent itself with an agreed upon purpose to avert this identity crisis and realize our true greatness.