It’s not often that journalists are the news. They are usually the ones providing it. But with layoffs happening close to home at our very own “Salt Lake Tribune,” it hits a nerve. Speaking as one who is just starting a journalism career, there is an almost uneasy, unsettling feeling.
Some say the days of the newspapers are over – out of fashion and extinct like the dinosaurs, disco and Twinkies. We know that Twinkies are making a comeback, and Spielberg brought back the dinosaurs in “Jurassic Park” form. (I do hope that disco never comes back in fashion). If there is any hope for the newspaper it might come as a resurrection in the form of a tablet.
It is a little hard to let go of the original form. It’s lasted decades through the introductions of radio, TV and even the beginning of the Internet era.
It has survived so far, but the latest wave of Internet innovations has not been so kind to the old soul of print media.
A former staff writer of “The Globe,” Maaike Bennett, had this to say of the newspaper: “I love newspapers. I love the sight and smell of them. The ink they leave behind on my fingers, a stain that marks me; says without saying that I am a reader, that something larger than myself has been impressed upon me.
“I love the permanence of writing that can be found within their gentle leaves. No computer crash or internet hack can take these words from me, this fresh mix of truth and honesty packaged up with a smile and photo cred. Caustic or sweet, informative or illustrative, voices brush against my own thoughts, expanding some and defining others.
“Newspapers open my worldview in ways the net never could. Online media is fast and furious, a flurry of information which sweeps on by almost before you can latch your eyes on it. Print enfolds you within its columns, a blanket of storytelling which soaks into your skin and leaves you thoughtful as you walk away.
“It opens eyes, opens ears, opens the closed mind.
“Print may be a lost art these days, but all the better to find such a cherished treasure.”
It’s partly a nostalgia for those slower times that leaves us not wanting to give up the print medium just yet. We miss the good ol’ days of a permanence of the paper and not just a fleeting trend/tweet/post/comment on the Internet. But I do share a little optimism for the future of journalism.
Newspapers have always evolved with the changing of times.
A little change is good for us every now and then, to keep us on our toes and help us invent new and better things. This may be a great time to be involved in the change and see it expand into something better. However, as long as there are those who still read the newspaper, there will always be one.
There will always be those who want to gather stories, to tell the facts and share the truth. Great storytellers and writers such as those laid off this week at the “Tribune” that still have a great deal more to contribute to our society. Whether the medium changes or not, the messages will still be the same. I hope I will still be able to share that message – in digital, print or otherwise.