The way we access our news is changing

Sunday, September 4, 2016

I'm part of the generation who clipped newspaper articles and proudly put them in a scrapbook. Now long faded photos of Little League or some high school activity still remain somewhere hidden in a drawer as far as I know.

But like it or not, our world is changing. And high among those changes is the way most of us gather our news.

For those who are under 40, social media - primarily Facebook as of today - has surpassed television as the prime source for news.

Television and to a lesser extent newspapers and radio still top the news source list for the older population. And, fortunately, when it comes to local news, newspapers still top the list.

As I have said before, I have yet to embrace the Facebook world. Granted, I look with great interest over my bride's shoulder when she finds pics of the grandkids. But beyond that, Facebook has yet to capture my attention.

Having said that, I fully recognize I am losing the battle when it comes to news sources. And that makes me a news dinosaur.

Though I am helpless to change this shifting trend on news access, I do have a warning.

Just today, a headline - yes, read on the internet - points out that Facebook is considering some sort of blocking for those with opinions other than theirs. Climate deniers - as we are called - may be blocked from sharing their opinions on the highly-popular world of Facebook.

By way of comparison, we get countless Speakout calls and letters with which we disagree. But we would never censor those comments even though we don't share those opinions.

There are many within the world of technology who predict that Facebook will soon be replaced with some news delivery system or new device to make our news access even easier.

And even though no one can predict with any accuracy what the future holds, rest assured something will come along that will reshape our world and the manner in which we gather our news.

It was 50 years ago that a wise editor took me to the local coffee shop early one morning and proudly proclaimed that this was the real source of news in our community.

In that time, he was quit possibly right.

Progress is measured in many different ways. And since I am clearly in the minority, I recognize that varied forms of social media now rule the world.

Someday soon perhaps, some small grandchild will look at their grandparent and ask, "What's a newspaper?"

And the grandparent will reach into that dark drawer and pull out some faded photos from a different era.

I guess that's progress.

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