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How informed could one be going print-only in 2011?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Dick Whitman, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I noticed this morning - hadn't noticed it before - that my local paper doesn't run baseball box scores any more. That would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

    So it got me to thinking about a thought experiment - could you be a well-informed citizen in 2011 without the Internet? And what would it take?

    I'd like to think I could, but it takes some commitment. We get three newspapers at our house and a slew of magazines - Time, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone, Esquire, GQ, and a couple others. I'm still not sure, however, that I could keep myself as informed as you have to in this day and age without sortable baseball stats at ESPN.com or Politico's reporting on the GOP race and so forth. I would probably have to add the Wall Street Journal or National Review for balance, or I'd miss a lot.

    Thoughts? Maybe I'll try it for a couple weeks or a month and report my thoughts afterward.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    So -- bottom line -- you won't be around for a month then?
  3. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I'm sure the board would be devastated. :)
  4. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    It depends entirely on the level of "informed" you want to attain. On international and some government affairs, if it's not in the NYT or USAT, I'm probably never going to find out about it. And yes, I mean the print versions, even if I often read the articles online.

    You'd really struggle with breaking news, though. But CNN could catch you up on the must-know things, as well as reasons why Bush still sucks but Obama sucks, too.
  5. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    For the most part, I'm print only. I made that decision a few years ago. It's too easy to be a consumer and not a thinker in the popcorn news cycle.

    Wall Street Journal, The Economist, NY Times, Esquire, The Atlantic and The New Yorker are in my rotation. I seem to not implode because I don't know about every news item the moment it happened.

    I am on Twitter, though, so I'm not being totally honest. But it's purely for sports information.
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I think this is the main thing I'm curious about. I'd always feel like I was playing catch-up. On the other hand, I feel like I'd be a more efficient consumer of news because things would have a day to settle, adding context and separating inaccuracies, half-truths, and speculation.
  7. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    That's the issue in a nutshell, isn't it? How important is breaking news to your news consumption? In sports, where the score's the thing, it's very, very important. For regular news, at least to me, not so much compared to accuracy of information and analysis of and insight on same.
  8. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Being print only works pretty well for toilet paper.
  9. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Very. But you gotta spend money for it.
  10. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    News carries immediacy as one of its primary traits, so I don't see how you could be up on the "news."

    Informed, though? You'd probably be better informed because the chaff and the political posturing would be less forceful. Two examples:

    1) The Atlantic piece on college sports. If you hadn't read one word of Yahoo's report or the OSU coverage of Tressel or the Oregon/Willie Lyles case, you'd still know how messed up the system is.

    2) I read a piece a few months back in Vanity Fair about what was at the time this pernicious little thing happening over in England with some of Murdoch's reporters hacking people's phones. It drew heavily from previously reported material. I never saw any of that original reporting, but it sure didn't hurt my comprehension of the story, and probably helped because it put it all together.

    Take the 2012 election. Who is going to make a sounder decision about the presidential candidates -- the one who reads Daily Kos and RedState every two hours, or the one who reads the New York Times daily and the New Yorker monthly?
  11. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    So what do you think the answer is?
  12. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    NYT/New Yorker by a mile. "Issues" to DailyKos and RedState are not really issues, they are just pathetic ways to inflame their own readership and hit everyone with what are believed to be "gotcha" moments. The Ron Paul staffer/health care situation being just the latest example.
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