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It’s the news … on PAPER (gasp!)

February 27, 2007

Going through my morning dispatches from the journalism think tank at Poynter.org, I read through Amy Gaharn‘s “E-mail Tidbits” column today and laughed so much I snorfed Coke Zero out my nose.

newspaper and coffeeSnorf (v.) … The drinking of a carbonated beverage mid-laugh, redirecting the liquid up the sinus cavity and out the nostrils.

(I’m trademarking that…actually, I can’t, it’s already in Urban Dictionary with a wide variety of definitions.)

Gaharn takes a humorous look at what seeing an actual newspaper must be like to those of us in the digital generation that digest our news mostly via Web sites and RSS feeds.

You know, the few of us that have never seen a newspaper before … the very few, lonely, hermit souls.

Geez, just think … they’ve never seen Sudoku! The horror!

More after the jump…


Here’s just a sample of her column. For the rest, go here:

Yesterday, I found it in my driveway and brought it inside. I thunked it down next to my husband, who was tapping away on his laptop. “Check it out,” I said, “It’s a different kind of news delivery technology. It’s called a news-paper.”

“What’s new about paper?” he asked, nudging it experimentally. Then he shook it out of its orange plastic bag. A sheaf of paper two inches thick showered onto his lap. “How does it work?” he asked.

“Well, this is paper — kind of like what you use in your laser printer, but rougher and with cheaper ink,” I said, before sneezing three times hard. Clearing my throat, I continued, “They have giant printers in Denver that print up thousands of these every day with news that was current as of something called ‘press time,’ and then they truck them out to towns, divide the truckloads into cars, and drop them on subscribers’ doorstep. This news-paper is called the Denver Post.”

“Like the Web site?”

“Exactly. And the podcast. Apparently they’ve been doing this paper thing longer than they’ve been online. Remember, I started writing that Carless in Boulder blog on YourHub? Well, YourHub does a special print edition for Boulder that republishes content from the site. I was curious to see what that looks like, but the only way I can get the print YourHub is to subscribe to either the print Post or Rocky Mountain News — another news-paper.” …

“You’re kidding! What good is this, then?”

“To be honest, I can’t say. But a lot of people like it — even more than reading news online. They’ve got some good stories.”

“Yeah, look here,” he said. “Yesterday a zookeeper at the Denver Zoo got mauled and killed by a jaguar. They had to shoot the jaguar. A bunch of visitors saw the whole thing.”

“Terrible,” I replied. “And I’ll bet someone has the whole thing on YouTube now. I guess that’s one advantage of not reading this online.”

“So this paper thing doesn’t need charging or batteries? Well, that’s cool,” he said. “So you can take it anywhere. But what if it gets wet?”

“What happens if your laptop gets wet?”

“Good point.

Funny stuff Amy πŸ™‚

She goes on to joke about how the paper doesn’t update itself and that you have to throw it out. But there are technologies on the way that could change that, with the emergence of “e-paper.”

So don’t despair Ms. Gaharn. Your dream news product could be just around the corner.

Just think … the Apple iPaper. Cool.

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One Comment
  1. Diana permalink
    February 27, 2007 7:38 pm

    Haha… good story. πŸ™‚

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