Sunday, February 8, 2009

Technology doesn't stop the news

CBS Sunday Morning is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and the lookbacks have been wonderful. Each Sunday, the show has a "then & now" perspective that captures how much we've changed.

This morning, commentator/humorist Bill Geist sat with his granddaughter, telling her just how "difficult" it was in the dark ages of 1979. Why, he was working with a typewriter at his newspaper job then! No computers, no Internet, no cell phones, no e-mail. Just a typewriter, encyclopedias, a wall phone and a mailman.

In 1979, I was working at the Columbia (Mo.) Tribune, an afternoon paper. We, too, had typewriters and a scanner system that we used to edit stories for publication. Each of us was reporter-editor-photographer-backshop pasteup artist, wearing whichever hat was needed that day to get the paper out. The wire news came in by ticker-tape, and photos were developed in the dark room. There was one constant: We focused on local news in that college town.

Fast-forward to today. Technology has drastically changed how we bring you the news, and how you look for it. But, just like the old days, journalists are far more likely to multitask than they were just a couple years ago. And we focus on local news.

As I said in my column today, the news keeps on coming, and we keep on finding faster and better ways to bring it to you. Technology will continue to change our world -- but not the need to know.


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