Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 24: Page One

Date: July 24
Film: Page One [usa, 2011]
Where: Tulsa/Circle Cinema
Who with: Larry T.
Rating: Joshua ***1/2; Larry ***1/2

I'm a day behind because I totally forgot to get a post in yesterday. Not professional I know, but this is pretty cheap to read, so don't hold it against me. Page One is a documentary that looks into the world of newspapers via the venerable institution that is the New York Times. It follows reporters and talks to other people about the rapidly changing landscape of media in this age where the daily newspaper is quickly becoming a dinosaur. I'm not sure if you've heard this or not, but with the computer, the smart phone and now the tablet--newspapers are a dead technology. Everyone is saying it, so it must be true.

As someone who loves to read the paper, this is kind of sad. I enjoy the tangible act of holding it in my hands as I scan the pages, read articles that are cut-off and show up on the next page in the bottom corner, linger over sports statistics and standings. All this is going away, murdered by the so-called progress that new technology affords the masses. Call me old fashioned, but I just think reading a paper is a more pleasurable experience when it is not done via a computer screen or on your phone. Don't even get me started on the abomination that is e-readers when it comes to books--that invention is a crime against humanity! Back to Page One...

Page One promotes itself as a story about how the New York Times is changing to stay in the new media rat race, but I found it more about the special skills good reporters have that will be lost if journalists disappear. If you think you'll get investigative stories from your aggregate generating iPhone app like Huffington Post, you need to rethink that. Quality reporting is the real endangered species from the disappearance of papers because the bulk of online writing is based around short bursts of attention getting headlines and less on content. Yes, in the future it may be easier to get our news via the machine, but does that necessarily make it better, more informed news? I'm one who doesn't think the trade-off is worth it, but I'm still hanging onto a few luddite notions when I can and this is one of them.


Eva said...

You know what one of my favourite memories from childhood is? My father reading a gigantic newspaper over breakfast every morning, the edges hanging in the jam and honey and all that, he'd be all hidden behind it. Very annoying to get a hold of him back there, but very handy for asking questions like "am I allowed to do so-and-so today? - "Hmm?" "Can I do this-and-this today?" "Yeahhh". Turns newspaper page over.

Later in the day or week: "How come you did this? Who allowed you to do this?"
"oh - but I asked you! YOU allowed me. I swear! At breakfast! I even asked twice! I have witnesses."

hidden staircase said...

that's awesome eva!

hey...and i remember being in hawaii and getting out of the water and cringing to see a dude reading an electronic book...the screen all shiny in the sun. so annoying! no! you get sand and salt water on those pages and when you get back, you have a ruffled up book with fond memories of reading on the beach. i also have memories of my dad with the paper...tradition! yes too, joshua! content! people don't read so in depth online...they skim and then get distracted and move on to something else...with all the links available. technology...ugh! (although when used properly...like HERE!) :0)

Joshua Blevins Peck said...

Yes, CineRobot is technology used for good, ha.