“Print journalism is doing a great job of chronicling our own demise.”
We were sitting at a table by the cafe at the Times. Off-peak, four-fifteen in the afternoon on a Friday in July. Sunlight, white chairs, the day’s news.
“Please have some of my gummy bears,” the reporter said, pouring red bull into a cup and sorting green bears onto the top of the container.
He asked me what my dream job would be in five years, where I saw myself. And then, “Don’t say you want to be writing for a paper. Think about what it will mean to be a journalist. You want to be read and seen. Be Google-able, be YouTube-able. Print media may not even exist.”
Later, “What is it,” he asked, “that makes you like print?”
Eight years old, reading the sports section of the Los Angeles Times. The Valley section, Business, the front page and Ross Perot. Then the Wall Street Journal and the line graphs. Kosovo and the New York Times.
Sunday mornings with the magazine and Sunday Styles. We ate blueberry pancakes and my dad made espresso. My mom splayed the paper before her, inspected articles, debated with reporters and columnists until my dad took away her coffee. My sister read the comics.
“It’s a comfort thing.”
“Adapt,” he said.
With ubiquitous media bombardment — Twitter, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, iPods, iPhones, Kindles, Huffington Post, E-Books, YouTube, Google alerts — who are we? Do we all really have something to say? What about people who do? Will they get burried amidst the flurry of scum, of “I’m eating an egg for breakfast! Yum,” of somebody’s opinion on President Obama’s Portuguese Water Dog, of uninformed judgment on the Iranian protest? Are all these technological advances really making us more connected?