By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

A great line

Michael Miner, writing in the Chicago Reader: “The Internet pelts us with news; a good newspaper arranges it in our heads.”

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  1. acf

    That’s an interesting thought. When I read my print edition of the newspaper, other than specific areas I’m interested in such as the editorial and op-ed pages, my eyes catch items and articles on pages that I wasn’t looking for, but were in my field of vision. This has the effect of broadening my knowledge of what’s going on, although, to be sure, I’m at the mercy of the editors who decide what to print in any edition. On the other hand, if I read online, which I also do daily, I tend to be searching out articles about issues important to me that day, and my vision is focused on those alone. I don’t have a range of stories in my field of vision because I’m not looking at pages in the way that I do with print editions.

  2. Dot Lane

    As someone who has done a lot of research using historic newspapers, the difference between using the online keyword searchable New York Times archive versus actually looking at pages on microfilm (or the original papers themselves, if I’m really lucky) is night and day. Seeing an entire page at a time with surrounding articles and advertisements gives you a much fuller picture of the world in which the news happens whereas the online version gives you exactly what you’re searching for. Each way has its merits, but if I find a particularly interesting article from 1902 online, I will often go back to look at it on microfilm to catch the context. Electronic finding aids at libraries versus the old card catalogs or open shelf book browsing versus closed stacks work in much the same way.

  3. Ani

    Dot Lane: Yes!

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