I hate watching what’s happening to where I worked for 30+ years and where my colleagues still struggle. But what disappoints me more is the blindness.

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Photojournalist Will Steacy’s father, Tom, at work in 1973 (c/- The Guardian)

Writes Stephen Salisbury in this article in The Guardian: “Newspapers stitch people together, weaving community with threads of information… …reminding people where they are and what they need to know.”

Hello! Is anybody home? That’s precisely what social and digital media does so well now. Google Maps, and countless other apps delivering us almost limitless information on the best restaurants, the quickest bus, the cheapest flights and hotels, the top rated butchers, the worst vacuum cleaners, access to the most authoritative health sites, and more. Social and digital now does this change management and better, within Atomic Time.

He goes on, “It is this unravelling of our civic fabric that is the most grievous result of the decline of our newspapers. And it is the ordinary people struggling in the city who have lost the most, knowing less and less about where they are …”

Poor us; no, poor you. When it comes to straight news the world I now live in looks at news delivery through a different lens. While newspapers are still looking at how to deliver a newspaper to an online audience, and refusing to grasp the change management concepts, the new media looks at how to give people the news they want, when and where they want it. Mr Salisbury’s beautifully written musings are a great way to remember an era that’s now past, so I’ll certainly buy the book.  But I’m wise to the certainty that his lament is symptomatic of the root-cause of the demise of traditional newspapers, radio and TV.

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