Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Fast-Changing Face of Journalism

I have healthy doubts about the integrity of the recycling process.

Here’s a true step-by-step story, from the past few months, to explain why:

1. After wading through a batch of newspapers, I go to conscientious pains to stash them all in a gigantic box stationed in a corner of my office.

2. I let the publications pile up as they threaten to swallow my office whole.

3. I risk wrenching my back as I lug the hulking mass of paper down the stairs of my office building and into the backseat of my Altima.

4. I make the 1.8-mile drive home, consuming 73 percent more gas than usual to accommodate Mr. Paper Passenger in back.

5. Leveraging every last bit of my 200-pound frame, I heave-ho the paper into the recycling bin behind my home.

6. A few days later, still in physical-recovery mode, I gaze out my window and see the garbage collector appear to toss the entire recycling shebang into his truck, commingled with trash.

The moral of this story?

It’s so much simpler—and greener—to read stories online.

Which brings me to last night, when I read a 5,300-word opus at Gapers Block (http://www.gapersblock.com/). The author was former Sun-Times reporter Howard Wolinsky, who in January, after 27 years at the paper, took a buyout and launched enthusiastically into the world of free-lance.

If Howard does not embody the changing face of journalism, particularly the role that the Internet has played in that transition, then he is certainly in the team photo.

So, whether you're a journalist, a publicist or a something else-ist, consider saving a tree, gaining some valuable insight and enjoying Howard’s thoughtful, wide-ranging piece here:


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