Last Friday, I saw Page One - Inside The New York Times, a fly on the wall documentary about The New York Times and the newspaper industry. It highlights the negative impact that the Internet is creating on printed media, believing that all of our current technological advances may ultimately put the paper industry out of business.
I'm personally a tech enthusiast myself and I don't mind the digital lifestyle. However, it's still terrifying to consider that print media, something that society has adapted to almost instinctually, may someday soon become a thing of the past.
Tablets are taking over the market by storm and I really don't think there's much turning back at this point. Every tech giant wants a piece of the pie, after all. Competition is fierce, which is exactly why the printed paper industry is getting pushed to the wayside.
One can even argue that our newer alternative is a greener choice. However, there is much more to that argument than meets the eyes. Indeed, the cost of producing books on the environment does leave a significant carbon footprint behind. However, the mark an average eBook reader leaves is equivalent to the impact approximately 30-35 books would make. That's PER device, and some would say that it will eventually balance out by the time you've downloaded a few dozen books, but the debate remains.
Sorry for going off on a tangent there. I felt like that needed to be said.
On a lighter note, I would like to highlight my favourite part about the documentary. It goes by the name of David Carr.
The former cocaine addict slash single welfare-dependent parent definitely stole the show for me. In the movie, he plays himself as a culture columnist for The New York Times. His unforgiving and honest journalistic approach is so refreshing. Although him and I are polar opposites, I would like to loosely emulate his no-BS demeanour one day.
Carr loves The New York Times. That being said, he basically cringes at the thought of adapting to the technological revolution. But again, if he wants to be successful in his industry, he realizes that it is something that he must learn to do.
As far as print media is concerned, I believe that all beauty must fade. There is a nostalgia that attaches itself to the act of laying out the morning paper next to your hot cup of joe. There will certainly be traditionalists that hold on to that last string of hope for printed news, and I personally hope that the string holds for as long as it can.
Those are my hopes, but we'll have to see how actual reality pans out.