Let me clarify. This picture ain’t me.

huffpost.jpgI wish I were as smart (and as rich) as Tom Friedman, but I’m not. I should be flattered, I guess, that Eat the Press thinks we were separated at birth. When I had a mustache many years ago, maybe we looked alike somewhat, in a very vague way. I’m not sure how they could have gotten his picture on an item that does not mention him at all.

Romenesko also linked to the Bryan Murley interview, and pulled this quote:

Journalism schools should design their curriculum and publication efforts accordingly [and] “be even more dismissive of print than mainstream pubs are right now,” …

I find myself not quite comfortable with the word “dismissive.” While I believe digital is our inevitable future, I do not intend to demean print in anyway. I still get chills when I walk into a printing plant and watch the presses run. I’m reminded of the ending of Deadline U.S.A., when Bogart, over the roar of the plates slamming against cylinders yells into the phone delivering his defiant message to a soon-to-be exposed criminal:

Ed Hutcheson: That’s the press, baby. The press! And there’s nothing you can do about it. Nothing!

The point I was trying to make with Bryan is that all journalists, but especially college journalists, need to be immersed in the digital world and really try to understand it. I don’t think anybody who hasn’t done that can really make fair judgments about what modern journalism should or can be. Print may not be dying, but we can’t afford to operate like it will last forever. There may be a tsunami coming that will destroy print journalism almost overnight, or nothing like it may ever come. Either way, we can’t risk clinging to traditions that may not have served us very well. Online is still our best growth opportunity, both for business and for better content.  We need to get beyond print thinking and think of the web first. The web should be first in everything we do as journalists. Making the web core to our personal and our college curriculum seems terribly important.

We need to fully understand both where we’ve been and where we’re going.

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4 thoughts on “Let me clarify. This picture ain’t me.

  1. To be fair, Howard, that was one of the two quotes I sent to him. Certainly, the context is important. I hope the 700-odd people who have followed the link found that context.

  2. Hi Howard, you’re right, that photo in Melissa Lafsky’s post is not of you and was not intended to represent you – it was a more general tongue-in-cheek illustration speaking to the title of the post and the second half of the piece (and Friedman was mentioned, albeit in orange – he’s the first link at the bottom). We’re subtle at ETP, real subtle.

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