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The Times they are a-changing

August 8, 2011

The last century has seen a multitude of changes for the newspaper industry, culminating in the shift from absolute deadlines for city and country editions (based on how long it took to get the papers off the presses, onto the trucks and delivered to the newsagents) to a 24 hour news cycle.

This progression has seen a shift from actually cutting and pasting text with scissors and glue to ctrl+x and ctrl+v – that’s cmd+x and cmd+v for us mac users.

Gone are the days when photographers would come back from the field, get the film in the juice and knock out a couple of 10×8’s.

Layout subs have made way for graphic designers because wysiwyg has done away with calculating the points across columns for the typesetters.

Ahh, the good old days. The young people of today just don’t appreciate how technology has changed the life of a newspaper journo (for the better?) nor why you’d often find a few of them a 6am knocking back schooners at the journo’s club.

The good folks at Florida Atlantic University decided to do something about it launching their “ALL ON PAPER” project.

The project involved having students produce a newspaper the old way, from manual typewriters to darkrooms (in the men’s toilet) right through to copyediting and pagination.

As they discovered, “While archeologists try to recreate what life was like 10,000 years ago, and historians try to recreate what life was like 1,000 years ago, journalists can’t even recreate how they published a newspaper 20 years ago. No one documented the details or saved the old equipment.

“Journalists may write history’s first draft, but when it comes to covering their own history, they don’t even take notes.”
If you want a bit of a laugh and a reminder of exactly how much things have changed, check out http://journoterrorist.com/2011/08/02/paperball2/

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