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James Brown

Some blogs are calling newspapers antiquated and say that the current methods of communication are trundling newspapers off to the discard file.

I respectfully disagree. From my background of working in community newspapers in Ohio, California, Florida and now North Carolina for 40 years , a replacement doesn't exist. There is no question everyone can learn of national and international events within minutes.

But who can tell you how much your water bill is going to increase because town commission raised the rates last night?

Newspapers are slowly morphing into information companies with sophisticated websites and other niche publications.

Those who claim we are not reporting current news are not considering the tremendous scope of a newspaper's reach. The newspaper is read by all ages, genders and races. What is an "old" story for one group is a new story for another.

In a far-out analogy, it's like the Mac versus Windows. Mac has forsaken backwards compatability in its hardware and operating systems when Windows still strives to somehow keep everyone in the game, no matter what their equipment.

Newspapers, in particular community-based newspapers, are the same.

There are still generations out there who want a printed product in their hands. That's how they read. That's how they learn.

Newspapers have not done a good job with certain groups, particularly our young people. But the addition of websites and push e-mail will close that gap. The bottom line is the quality and quantity of local information available through the newspaper. When the non-newspaper consumers of information find this out, newspapers will continue providing what they seek, perhaps through a different media.

Rarely in any community does an organization exist that can compete with the newspaper in gathering, presenting and explaining the news. Then, too, another underlying factor is credibility. Newspapers have strived since their beginning to publish accurate information that people can believe. That's the goal every day. And credibility is a precious commodity in a time when wave after wave of information covers people every minute of every day.

At the core, a newspaper provides a vital function in the community because it not only reports the news, it gives the community a place to debate the issues of the day. Newspapers, I believe, can do a better job, but that's the beauty of this business. Each day, we've got another chance to make it better.

Shi Feng

I'm 30, from Beijing. I have a watch ,but haven't worn it for ages. If the newspapers could choose better news I may read them, but I haven't now.

I like your Blog.
Thank you.


Since my cell phone is web enabled I read the majority of my news on my cell phone, in addition to using it to tell me what time it is.

Erik Holden

I agree with Daniel and would add that the various news outlets (print and otherwise) produce mostly pablum that serves to entertain rather than inform.

As far as watches are concerned. I seem to be regressing. Back in the early 90s I had a pager and a PDA-like device that I used for telling time, and didn't wear a watch. 15 years later I rely on my watch to tell the time even though I have my cellphone.

My daughter wears a watch, but since she is only 2 it is probably because of the Princess Leah hologram and not so she won't be late for daycare.

Robert Moore

As I was leaving the racquetball court this afternoon (without my watch on, of course), I asked a student sitting on the gym floor the time. She glanced at her cell phone (which she was holding, of course) and told me the time faster than anyone in my generation could have done with a wrist watch (which she was not wearing, of course).

Mary Green

I agree that telling us people don't wear watches is probably not news; it's more of an observation of life as we know it, and it doesn't bode well for Relic or Movado or Timex :-)
I'm fast approaching 50 and I haven't worn a watch in years..I use my cell phone or ask someone wearing a watch when I need to know the time. I do wonder whether my young grandson will know the difference between clockwise and counterclockwise...I think I'll make sure he does!

Gemi Powell

Out of my four children only one wears a watch. Surprisingly it is the youngest. No one in my household reads the newspaper. (ages 11-19)

I don't wear a watch or read the newspapers and haven't for years. We don't even use an alarm to get up in the morning.

I have wondered if my children are just a reflection of what i am doing. Have I taught them how to live without a rigid scheduled ruled by the clock or is that a sign of the generation?

Newspapers, I feel, are going to have increasingly difficult time sustaining viability because it is much more efficient to take a glance at the headlines and news on your cell or laptop than to sit and read the paper. My kids are all about their time and not wasting it.

The news available on the wireless is much more comprehensive and global than anything the local paper can provide.

Drawback: missing the childhood excitement of having children's pictures in the local paper and the peacefulness of sitting alone on the porch with a cup of coffee reading the newspaper. What a simple pleasure.

Tiffany Torlakson

Even though this trend is not totally brand-new, I think it is "news" for some people and is a good idea to report it. I bet that my parents and grandparents haven't really noticed that I don't wear a watch anymore, and it is so normal for me that I wouldn't consider making it a topic of conversation. For those reasons, having an article about it sparked conversation and communication between the generations-- and that's a good thing!

Suzanne Kart

My husband, a Gen X newspaper reporter, was so angry at his newspaper yesterday for running a story about wireless internet connections around town. He was insensed that the "technology" being reported on was a least a year old. He compared it to reporting about CD players in cars (i.e., you can put five CDs in at one time and shuffle!).

Being married to a print journalist, I am around many people in the industry. Frankly, they don't want to admit their dinosaurs. Their big argument for why newspapers are great is that you can read them while using the bathroom. They brag about not watching television or surfing the net.

Gen Y cares about the news, they just don't care about newspapers. If newspapers ignore this demographic, of course, they eventually will become extinct.


What if it's something else? Maybe the Gen Y kids are speaking out because this isn't "news" as they see it. Willie, for example, sees everyday that his friends and the people around him aren't wearing watches anymore. Why, then, is this being reported? Why is space being taken in a newspaper to report something so obvious? Have all the rest of the world's problems been solved that this is now "news?" Think of all the news stories of the last year that dominated headlines and news programs: Terry Shiavo, the Runaway Bride, Michael Jackson, etc. I think Gen Y is frustrated with all of this nonsense being reported as "news."


I think a new format will be created to meet Gen Y's needs. Typically, this age group does not regularly read newspapers but as they mature, they might want to read a daily "sheet" as many of us do for relaxation or as something to do while drinking our coffee!

Harold Jarche

The mainstream media are far behind the "news". Many articles and news reports have been previously published in blogs. I don't read newspapers anymore (and I'm 46) though I still listen to the radio, eventhough CBC (in Canada) is being dumbed-down.
Yes, newspapers, radio and TV are old news. For the past year I have taken to not wearing a watch either. My cell phone automatically updates the time as I travel from one time zone to the next :-)

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