Thursday, October 11, 2007

Lights out on the media

Well... sort of. Last Friday, as I was teaching my MMC 2100 lab, a storm swept over the Gainesville area and knocked out power in Weimer Hall.

I dunno if I'm reading too much symbolism into our unfortunate black out, but without computers, air conditioning or PowerPoint, it was time to cut class short. I mean, how could I teach my students about definite and indefinite articles without PowerPoint? Did you actually expect me to use a chalk board?

Well, much to my students' chagrin, I did, and after an hour of non-air conditioned classroom bliss, I set them free to finish and e-mail me their assignments.

In this age of computer-based readership, is it time to call it quits for print newspapers? Is it worth killing thousands of trees each year for a print product that fewer and fewer people are reading in lieu of a digital one?

Well, that may be up to the next generation of media executives to decide. Don't get me wrong, I still appreciate the print product and actually prefer reading the print edition over the online one, but online newspapers are now making a name for themselves.

Not to mention blogs, just like this one. For the first time in media history, average citizens have the chance to share their stories without having to go through local media to get their news across. They can also share their opinion in a relatively anonymous way without harassment. Hmm...sounds like information-sharing perfection doesn't it?

Of course there will always be a nice for a hand-held paper product. Where else would old folks get their Sunday coupons? But the tides are changing, and my generation may be the one's to decide which direction they go.

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