Time marches on as Newsweek fades to digital
Updated: November 26, 2012 6:28AM
Back in college, my roommate once penned a clever verse of satire:
“Newsweek folds, but Time marches on.”
We had a good laugh late at night making fun of a college literary magazine full of esoteric drivel. I thought of that night and those words last week with the news that Newsweek, that venerable weekly news magazine, has decided to stop publication of its print edition.
Newsweek, of course, did not fold last week. It is transitioning to all digital. And why shouldn’t it? That’s the future of news, isn’t it?
Recently, I had an example of how news I needed came to me digitally. There was a police standoff near my son’s high school. I awoke to the news of the standoff on the radio in the morning. The school was on lockdown before it even started.
I checked Facebook and found many parents wondering why they didn’t get a call from the school first thing that morning.
Later, checking Twitter, I got the news I needed. The school had Tweeted that there would be a late start. The buses would pick up students at their regular stops, but two hours later.
While my son was getting ready, another Tweet let me know that school would be closed.
News comes directly from the source these days and is delivered to those who need it.
But back to Newsweek. As I thought about why the magazine existed in the first place, and the ramifications of such a landmark publication going completely digital, I wondered about the ramifications on other publications.
I still subscribe to a daily newspaper and enjoy looking it over with my morning coffee. But that’s about it. If it went away, would I miss it?
That thought also took me back to college days. My journalism professor subscribed to the old Chicago Daily News for one reason and one reason only: he loved reading Mike Royko. And to read Mike Royko, he had to get the Daily News.
When it folded, Royko moved to the Sun-Times, so he started reading the Sun-Times.
Today, he wouldn’t need a paper to read his favorite columnist.
One of my favorite reads these past few years is a fellow named Andrew Sullivan. He’s been online for 12 years.
My Facebook friends are posting reads they find interesting every day. Unfortunately in these past few weeks before the election, they are posting more and more political nonsense as if it is news, but that’s OK.
What does it all mean? Nothing for the under-30 crowd who are connected to the Web by the hip. Dinosaurs like me who spent their lives devoted to newspapers will have to go all digital eventually.
As my roommate so eloquently said: “Time marches on.”