A fond farewell to print

A highly visible tidal wave of tech innovations and an economic depression that began in 2007 has devastated the print industries. Newspapers of all sizes and types are biting the dust as advertising sales plummet and tech alternatives abound.

Buffalo News-owner Warren Buffett opines, “If cable and satellite broadcasting, as well as the Internet, had come along first, newspapers as we know them probably would never have existed.”

Internet sites provide 24-hour news programming and local news is always available for most communities on a similar basis.

Combining the constantly upgrading technology of news with the decline of heavy-equipment-dependent gutenberg-press-finews technologies (the processes that feed reportage to printing presses) seemingly spells an end to printed media.

There are no winners amongst the printed media in North America. There are only, at best, lesser losers.

As the Millennials (born 1982–2000) expand their influence in this ageing demographic that prevails in all modern nations, the sphere of Internet-available news and information content is literally always at hand. The generations following them will have almost no hands-on experience with printed media. They’ll likely not use any writing instruments aside from keyboards, which will replace the ball-point pen. Handwriting will be a lost skill akin to midwifery.

When I wasn’t working in TV and radio, my news career was devoted to print. I will remain nostalgic for news stories that continue on an inside page.

But in this new-media world, that quaint illusion would be satisfied only by an animation from an obsolete version of Acrobat.

Since you are reading this on the Internet, rest assured The Bulletin is not gone nor is it going. We’ll remain publishing as the Journal of Downtown Toronto with local news and opinions always available from us online.

You read it first here.

— Frank Touby