Newspaper Week celebrates a classic

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 12, 2013

For several years now, rumors about the supposed death of print journalism have swirled among those both within and outside of the industry.
And while it is true many newspapers have seen revenues shrink — and staff along with it — as well as numerous closings or complete switched to digital versions over the past few years, this is a prime example of rumor eclipsing fact.
When television came along, many sounded the death knell for print journalism, yet the industry soldiered on and even prospered in the years since that premature obituary.
Now again, with the rise in prominence of the Internet and mobile computer devices, doomsayers have again been spouting their pessimistic views, totally ignoring history as well reality.
Once the dust settles, people will again realize that just like television, web-based mediums provide a completely different experience than print versions.
The Internet is about speed. Information gets put up quickly, it is spread quickly, and often it is just as quickly forgotten. Few want to read lengthy, in-depth articles on an electronic screen, but that does not mean lengthy, in-depth reporting has run its course.
Print has a sense of permanence that no other medium has yet to achieve. If I am reading an article in a newspaper and need to stop for some reason, I can mark my place and return to that article later; if I stop reading an article online, I’ll likely never finish that piece.
And of course, the permanence of print lends itself well to scrapbooks and keepsakes. You cannot frame an iPad and hang it on the wall.
Print also has an air of credibility that online media do not. It is common knowledge that anyone can post anything online if they have the knowledge to do so, so often things read online must be considered with a certain degree of skepticism.
This is not to say online media doesn’t have its merits. It does. They are just different from those of print newspapers.
L’Observateur, as the newspaper of the River Parishes, has been here for 100 years and will continue to tell this region’s story for as long as you, the readers, will allow us to.
Thank you for the past 100 years, and here’s to 100 more years of waking up to newspapers at your door.