New Age Newspapers

Written by Steve Carey

As I was lying in bed reading the newspaper, it struck me how times have changed in the print industry.

Not many years ago, I’d have had four or five publications sprawled from one end of the room to the other… each a patchwork of information, packed with breaking news, features, columnists’ expert advice and sport. It was a ritual I never thought I’d break.

Today the ink and paper product is just a small part of the routine because, like millions of others, I am a devotee of social media. I enjoy the interactive nature of it, how I can get news as it happens from dozens of different sources and surf the world’s media to find things that interest me.

And that’s changed the way I digest information. So often, what’s passed on as breaking news in print is already old news by digital standards. I forget how many times I’ve scanned the newspaper and thought, “Hang on, I read that last night on Twitter!”

It’s also proved challenging for old-style editors – how to juggle the demands of new-age deadlines with the needs of traditional investigative journalism.

In recent years the temptation to hold the front page for a big news story has given way to the online “Break the news NOW! Fast and first!”

Smart editors are finding there is a middle ground. Their journalists are learning to break the news on-line first, then back it up with longer, investigative stories, which often find a home (and solid readership) in print.

So, for now, I’ll enjoy a leisurely mix of both media worlds. After all, there’s nothing like scribbling away the mistakes on a “paper” crossword… even if I can get the answers on-line.