Why would anybody subscribe to a newspaper when it can be read free on-line? OK. I'm one of those tree-trunkers or whatever they call people who prefer to hold and read a newsPAPER. My day is not complete without reading the DMN with my morning coffee. Now, some of you may head straight for the computer terminal and, coffee cup in hand, peruse a variety of news and opinion every morning. While I'm developing an appreciation for the on-line versions, I subscribe not only to the DMN but also to the NY Times and the Wall St. Journal daily. I will no doubt subscribe to a paper paper until my last breath is drawn.
Other oldtimers may concur. But the value of the traditional newsPAPER is lost on young people. They've grown up with the Internet and that's where they get their news -- to the extent that they pay attention to it. Most that I know obsess over entertainment news and celebrity gossip. Some are even addicted to the weekly celebrity mags and tabloids at the supermarket. They are the audience of the future, and they're not reading the daily newspaper. That may tell us as much about society and societal values as about journalism.
As for journalism, it has many definitions today. Those interested in what's happening to journalism should read Charles Madigan's "The problem with today's 'journalism'" in the Oct. 25 Chicago Tribune. It's starts with one new definition -- "journaltainment ."