The Death of Print

1776 Words Apr 10th, 2012 8 Pages
ENG 122-404
27 February 2012
The Death of Print and the Drowning of Quality Writing Daniel Okrent has been in the publishing industry his whole career. He is a published author and has served as an editor for Time, Life, and the New York Times. In a 1999 lecture to students attending Columbia University’s School of Journalism, Okrent predicts, “I believe they (news papers, magazines, and books), and all forms of print are dead” (Okrent 578). A little harsh, wouldn’t you agree? But fear not, he then goes on to describe how even though the death of print is inevitable, it really doesn’t make a difference because it is the words, sentences, and paragraphs in those forms of print that are important. Now, the majority of the reading I
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Competitors offering an inferior product with more glitz could force our current information to be watered down. Think of the future reader 50 years from now. They wish to check up on the news. Are they going to pay a subscription fee to the Wall Street Journal or go to Yahoo.com and where political news is coupled on the same page as Eva Longoria’s revealing dress, Lin-sanity, and a story about a baseball player’s new nose job (all actual headlines on Yahoo’s homepage)? Imagine reading a book and every other page being something completely irrelevant to the book itself. “Imagine a tablet, maybe half an inch thick, shaped when held one way like an open book or magazine, when turned sideways much like a single page of a newspaper. It weighs six ounces. It’s somewhat flexible, which makes it easy to transport. Its screen, utterly glare-free, neither flickers nor fades nor grows dull” (Okrent 579). This is a description of a tablet Okrent saw back in 1999. That doesn’t seem too far off from what’s available today. Actually, it sounds a little better. Okrent later makes a good comparison in the format in which cell phones are sold today and how tablets may be similarly sold in the future. He argues it’s less about the vessel and more about the content in which they wish to sell you on that vessel. As cell phone companies do when

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