-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Closing the PostDec 12, 2007
As mentioned in a questionably useful tribute to Twitter earlier today, I received a cell phone "tweet" this afternoon of a story by Joe Strupp about the Cincinnati Post's impending year end closing. The story is published at: editorandpublisher.com.
Among the interesting points in his story for me was this:
Future plans for many of the staff are telling about the bleak journalism prospects. Shelly Whitehead, a police reporter, is going to work in internal communications at a hospital, while former Managing Editor Mark Neikirk, a 28-year Post veteran, has signed on to run a project at Northern Kentucky University.
The part about straying from storytelling into "quick, constant updating" is a thought that strikes me as important.
Quick, constant updating is a data stream, a pulse... it might even be critical and helpful stuff, but it's just data. It's the ticker at the bottom of a TV screen. It's the quick snippets of "Stay tuned for an update on whether that healthy lunch you're eating might just make you sick... but first the weather".
There is little room for reflection in the news model of quick, constant updating. There is little space created to consider what is important or why something matters in that world of streaming story updates.
That's not really story, and story is important, in spite of its reputation of being the slow sibling in the family of modern communication.