Monday, June 12, 2006

What's Old is New....?

Andrew Sullivan makes an intersting point about new technology and newspapers: what was once ephemeral is becoming more discoverable and "permanent." While I don't share his confidence that the new technology will provide a permanent place for old materials, a point that he almost raises is that columnists have always had a certain luxury of anonymity of time. After all, unless someone decides to compile the columns, or the columnist decides to write a book, or become notorius through some means, no one ever goes back and reads opinions of columnists!

The new technology provides more and more access to "newsy" stuff. Writers must now pay more attention to what they write - the future may actually hold them accountable....

An interesting column, and well worth reading. Here's an excerpt:

"Here’s one simple example of what I mean. A decade or so ago I remember calling up the sub-editors of this paper in the dead of night worrying about an error I thought I might have made in a column. The breezy cockney voice on the other end of the phone reassured me: “Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that. It’s fish and chips now, mate.”"