“Imagine, if you will, sitting down to your coffee, turning on your home computer to read the day’s newspaper. Well it’s not as far-fetched as it may seem.”
I came across this gem of a video back in January, when one of my favorite local blogs, Fragmentary Evidence (which, if you guys aren’t reading, you need to start, cause it’s awesome) posted it. It’s a San Francisco TV news segment from 1981 about online newspaper delivery, and I found it absolutely fascinating.
It’s hard not to feel a little bit vindicated at the triumph of technology when watching the anchor’s smirk at the end of the segment as she smugly predicts “the new telepaper won’t be much competition for the 20 cent street edition,” but the satisfaction only lasts about a second until you remember that newspapers around the country are closing or threatening to close left and right, and then you just get all depressed.
I haven’t written here about the crisis in the newspaper industry, since it isn’t an Oakland-specific issue, but it’s a matter of much interest and concern to me. I complain plenty about poor Oakland coverage in the local media, but I do it because I want the reporting to be better, not because I want it to go away. I don’t know that I have anything particularly insightful to say on the subject, but I did very much enjoy posts on the issue this week from two other local bloggers, Dave Winer and Scott Rosenberg, so if you’re interested, I highly recommend reading those. The best thing I’ve read recently on the subject comes from farther afield, the text of a speech my celebrity crush Steven Johnson gave about the future of news at South by Southwest.
Hopeful all that will help entertain you on your Friday. I’m still tied up with other commitments, but hopefully normal blogging will resume next week. And special thanks to Chris Kidd for filling in for me yesterday.