William H. White foretold the newspaper future

Rob Curley posts the transcript of an interview he did with an Italian news paper. Here’s something to ponder:

One of my favorite quotes about the future of journalism was said nearly 75 years ago by the publisher of small daily newspaper in rural Kansas. His name was William Allen White, and he was hugely influential publisher in the United States during his time …

Look at this quote from him that he wrote in a personal letter back in 1931:

“Of course as long as man lives someone will have to fill the herald’s place. Someone will have to do the bellringer’s work. Someone will have to tell the story of the day’s news and the year’s happenings. A reporter is perennial under many names and will persist with humanity. But whether the reporter’s story will be printed in types upon a press, I don’t know. I seriously doubt it. I think most of the machinery now employed in printing the day’s, the week’s, or the month’s doings will be junked by the end of this century and will be as archaic as the bellringer’s bell, or the herald’s trumpet. New methods of communication I think will supercede the old.�

What that quote from William Allen White shows me is that a publisher from generations ago knew more precisely what our industry is about then many of his modern counterparts.

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