Imagine with me; I’m stuck in traffic. Bored, I get on my iPhone to check to see how far the stand-still bumper to bumper is going to last and end up reading an article that links me to a picture of the traffic I’m sitting in. The estimate is a 45 minute delay, so I’ve got plenty of time to kill. So I click the link of live coverage and watch video footage of the traffic I’m sitting in. Now let’s recap. I’m sitting in traffic whilst on my phone that is showing me live footage of the traffic I’m sitting in. Paradox? No, but it’s a very real indication of the speed in which digital information is made available.
In an article titled “Oregonian Memo Describe’s a Beat Reporters Digital Day,” the topic of transition is discussed. Transition from what? Print to digital? Perhaps, but the debate is much more complex than that. Even in Hollywood, the once beloved film stock, is making it’s quick change to predominance in digital footage. Why? Because a studio requires the footage to be reviewed after it is shot, which means that it must be canned and delivered, by mail, to the actual studio when it is shot on film stock, but when shot digital, it’s a few clicks away from delivery. This is the epitome of the digital transition.
The argument is not that the ways of old are now ineffective. By no means are the not getting the job done, but in this day and age where information is demanded quickly, briefly, and with as much accuracy as possible; digital is the most efficient means of pleasing everybody at once. So the memo is about getting a beat reporter to be aware that the media of old may not quite cut it anymore. Should it be abandoned? No. No, for the simple reason that a press like The Oregonian is rooted in print, and still maintains a heavy audience who expects to have a paper in their hands while they slowly (and I use slowly explicitly here) peruse through their fill of information. So a major newspaper should not alienate those who feel that they need to resist rapid change. After all, change is scary.
But to ignore social trends is a visceral betrayal of good business, and digital business is booming. So instead of transition, the word should probably be adaptation, for I do not think we are completely throwing out the paper press yet, but it is likely to happen when all the people who remember physically reading about 9/11 [I say that, because today is September 11th] kill over. By then, the world may be reading about the historic event on the iPad 67, with 3D Retinal-Brain Display.
But technology is getting more advanced and that fact cannot be ignored. Twitter, as mentioned in the article, is a quick means to relate snippets of information and refer people to a larger source. Facebook is a good way to take a general e-poll that may not be the most accurate, but will give a good idea of opinions held on the topic. The Internet as a whole is becoming this mass of connection that is doing what nothing else has been able to in the sense of connecting this once separate world. Personally, I am an advocate of traditional things, such as filming a movie with film, reading a newspaper, making a new friend in person, etc. But I recognize the convenience and efficiency in having a Facebook page, or using a digital camera; so thus, if it came down to it, I would use the digital era more. Tradition is usually something best kept when it doesn’t infringe on the betterment of society. Otherwise, it’s best practiced when you have the means to do so.
Otherwise, just tweet about it.