Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Media 2,956, Old Media 1

What made Tuesday's election truly unprecedented? It's not what you think. Not only did Obama's victory shatter racial barriers, close the book on Rovian Republicanism, and signal a change in American politics, culture, and values, it also showed that print is far from dead. Yesterday morning, in virtually every city, town, and village across the country, newspapers were in short supply, grabbed up immediately to be kept as mementos.

I live in an area where I can't get home delivery of the NY Times on weekdays, so I set out as usual around 8:30 yesterday morning to pick up a copy. My neighborhood Wawa was already sold out. Around the corner, my neighborhood coffee shop was also sold out. On to the neighboring neighborhood, whose Wawa was also sold out. I finally found what might have been the last remaining copy in eastern Pennsylvania two townships away, left over probably because the front page was somewhat tattered and therefore not suitable for framing. I didn't care; I actually wanted to read the paper, and I like getting newsprint on my hands, an experience the Internet cannot deliver, at least not yet.

We might go online more and more for information, but we clearly don't go online for keepsakes. What would a screen capture of the Times' online edition saved to disk mean, anyway? The print edition featured the simple word "Obama" in 96-point type, with a color photo of the man himself taking up the rest of the space above the fold. The online edition contained its usual collection of links to the right and left of the screen, with three lead storied vying for the rest of the space on the front page. For visual, and visceral, impact, print wins.

There's no doubt that in order to remain competetive newspapers have to figure out a way for their print editions to become something more than mementos. On Wednesday, November 5, though, for one historic day, newspapers were once again Americans media of choice.

2 comments:

tunsie said...

On election day i got the best jewish apple cake.it was very moist with large chunks of apples in it.it was not 2 sweet although there was some crystalline sugar on the top.but it was the perfect balance of apple and cake.everone should have one of these cakes in their lifetime.I can't wait 4 the next election 2 get more.tunsie.tunsie.tunsie

tunsie said...

the country was robbed,humiliated,put into a slump,put in a couple of wars,but give it time january 20 is a long way away,we didn't take care of our own,unemployment is at a 25 year high,crazy people r everywhere hallucinating reality.now NOW they give the job 2 a black man,did anyone see blazing saddles,.tunsie.tunsie.tunsie