Sunday, March 29, 2009
The End of the Road?
One of the 'headlines' on the Sunday Morning show had to do with the end of newspaper as we know them. Newspapers are going belly-up all over the country. What is to blame? Many a newspaperman and woman say it is the Internet.
The irony is that there was a time in the not so distant past when the Internet offered a great enhancement to our work. We could do research on the Internet, the Net allowed us to use news from other cities the same day, without waiting for information to reach us via subscription of papers born from a printing press.
Don't get me wrong, I had a marvelous experience as a newspaperwoman. I came into a community, met everyone and learned about the place from the ground up. People were, for the most part, anxious to contribute and enthusiastic about the opportunity to tell their story. If a hometown boy made it in baseball's major league, I got to go out and snap a photo (we all carried cameras back then) of him flipping pancakes to support local T-ball. If a cheerleader contracted brain cancer, I got to cover the fund-raiser born to help the poor kid's parents cope with the medical bills. I got to photograph the athletes at the local Eagle Man Triathlon. I called the cop shop every day to find out what the bad guys were up to and to witness how much money the local garden club raised to help take care of folks over at the old folks home. I got to cover the fun dog show that helped the Humane Society do their job. If there was a need in Dorchester County, someone organized a fund-raiser and people came out to put down their money to fix what needed to be fixed.
The only hard part about working as a newspaperwoman was that the daily news was not longer enough for a world that was rapidly becoming a global village. I could hardly live on my weekly pay, and overtime was forbidden - even though I could have spent every waking moment bringing one story or another to the public's eye. Eventually, I had to move on, but I remember my days at the newspaper with fondness and hate to see the daily paper I once helped write become a semi-weekly tabloid that is mostly a social calendar. There aren't even any want ads worth speaking of. Want ads are the blood and bones of a newspaper, and this lack puts the handwriting on the wall. Newspapers will soon be a thing of the past. Ain't it a shame?
Let's hope the Internet can weave the community together the way the Daily Banner did for more than a hundred years. It kept us on the sunny side, can an blackberry do that? Terry
PS: Look for my books at www.writewordsinc.com, www.ebooksonthe.net, Kindle, Amazon.com, Booksurge, Fictionwise, All Romance E-books and more. Happy reading!
Terry L White -Author of the Chesapeake Heritage Series
"Travel Through Time With Terry"