Progress is Inevitable

2 thoughts on “Progress is Inevitable”

  1. Dude, I know you to be a pretty smart fellow.

    And so, I’m fairly certain you have deeper feelings about the dissemination of information “54 years” beyond the article you quote from, than what you wrote in this short(ish) blog post.

    While I agree with you about some things, some other things you wrote aren’t exactly accurate.

    You’re right that industry and commerce evolve and the world is an ever-changing place and if you want stay valid and useful then you must change with it.

    The newspaper, radio, TV, cable or advertising industries haven’t done this very well.

    You’re also right that the “printable newspaper” is an archaic way for most readers to get news.

    What you are inaccurate about is that 1938 was 54 years ago. It was 74 years ago, a difference of 20 years; most of your lifetime and two-thirds of the time I’ve spent in the newspaper industry.

    What you are most inaccurate about is that “information is information is information.”

    While there are a bazzillion different kinds of information out there, I’ll break it into two simple categories:

    1) Responsible, dependable, reliable, principled information.
    2) Pretty much everything else.

    The biggest problem with the state of the news industry is that people don’t know the difference.

    As newspapers cut their staffs and close foreign bureaus and reduce resources devoted to discovering and uncovering information, people begin to rely on and legitimize organizations like TMZ, gawker and perezhilton.

    This says nothing about news aggregators and bloggers who don’t do any research or fact checking or even much thinking before they publish online.

    While military junta’s stage brutal coups in Africa and your school district administrator hires sexual predators as teachers, people are more interested in what club Lilo was partying in last night or watching Snooki barf on the boardwalk on YouTube.

    After all these resources are gone, who’s going to keep an eye on your city council or school district? Or the County, State or Federal governments?

    Or the military or the CIA?

    Patch.com?

    Like you, I read the NYT on my iPad, every day. I listen to NPR, every day. (I also watch a lot of YouTube.)

    Like you, I form opinions based on legitimate, sound reporting done by skilled, experienced professionals. Some would argue that those sources are not sound or legitimate (Fox) and that is an argument worth having.

    Progress is inevitable and I do accept, even embrace, that.

    I hope your readers don’t just play along.

  2. Hey Thomas,

    Thanks for reading. And thanks for such a thoughtful response.

    >> What you are inaccurate about is that 1938 was 54 years ago. It was 74 years ago, a difference of 20 years; most of your lifetime and two-thirds of the time I’ve spent in the newspaper industry.

    > Yes. 74. Math was never my strongest subject. And I wrote this post really quickly. It’s been corrected. Thank you.

    >> What you are most inaccurate about is that “information is information is information.”

    While there are a bazzillion different kinds of information out there, I’ll break it into two simple categories:

    1) Responsible, dependable, reliable, principled information.
    2) Pretty much everything else.

    The biggest problem with the state of the news industry is that people don’t know the difference.

    > I actually disagree: Information is information is information. Where you’re right is that it may not all be responsible, dependable, reliable, or principled, but it is all information. And my point here wasn’t that we should just take any and all information at face value, but rather we should not assume that people are going to stop consuming it—regardless of whether that information is consumed via iPad, iPhone, Galaxy Tab, newspaper print, TV or radio.

    >> Progress is inevitable and I do accept, even embrace, that.

    I hope your readers don’t just play along.

    > Since my initial point was that I hope people don’t give up on technology or progress (not that they just take unreliable information at face value) I still hope they do.

    Thanks, man. :)

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