Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Going With the Flow: Adapting to Change

This past summer, I was spoken to by Michael Weisskopf, a very well-known journalist. A senior correspondent for TIME magazine, Weisskoph was sent to Iraq on an assignment. He was riding in a tank with three other soldiers when a grenade was thrown into the vehicle. Before it could explode, he picked it up and attempted to throw it out of the tank. In doing so, he had his right hand blown up and now uses a prosthetic hand in place. He has worked for TIME for many years and loves the job of reporting and investigative journalism.
During his speech, however, he too mentioned the issue that this article brings to mind. When an audience member asked him about if he thought there was a decreasing amount of newspapers and an increasing amount of people using the internet as their main source of news, he responded with "absolutely."
At the time, this statment blew my mind. How could a man of such prestige that feels so much passion towards the magazine, a printed form of media, he works at admit defeat? How could he back down, only to let newspapers and magazines alike go completly extinct without attempting any sort of prevention or fight?
However, as he proceeded with his point, it started to make sense. He nor anyone else was "admitting defeat." They were simply adapting. Whether we like it or not, the internet is here to stay. Nothing will get worse about the internet, only better. It is highly unlikly, both in the near future and the long term, that we will revert back to the time when you got your news strictly from newspapers and other forms of printed media. Now that the internet's potential has been realized, it will not be limited.
What we need to do is find a way to make newspapers and magazines unique in a way that is not applicable to the ways of the internet. Though it will be hard to find such a way, it is possible and I believe this will someday be acheived.

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