Though Tuesday’s midterm elections swept a swarm of Republicans into Washington and threw a wrench in Democratic power, there may still be hope. Despite the flurry of blog posts and the headline frenzy on the homepages of newspaper websites during the election, print held its own.On Wednesday, when the nation, hungover from the night’s political binge, finally exhaled, it turned to the front page. Said Paul Sparrow, senior vice president for broadcasting at Washington’s Newseum, to the New York Times, “There is an enormous public interest in front pages.” And he would know, too. Newseum publishes over 1,000 PDFs of front pages from around the world on its website. He said his site traffic can jump by a factor of five to about 500,000 views on a day when there is important news, like election results.
“Front pages are a snapshot in time that have a historical relevance and a permanence that’s lacking in our electronic age,” he told the Times. But when Gawker can generate a half-million page views merely by humiliating a political candidate , maybe what’s really lacking in our electronic age is a sense of dignity.