Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Filler

The state of newspapers today
Back in the "olden days", when news came from print and waited for the morning and sometimes afternoon hour to spread to the people, the audience was big for the newsprint word.  For the youngsters, this waiting for news any longer than a few keystrokes is a foreign concept.  Of course, the journalistic and media industries have never really waited for news, there has always been a rush to print for the latest breaking stories that would grab people's attention.  And then where there are people, there is promotion.

In this sort of news cycle, pages of finger-dirtying print started to explode, with the finest explosion saved for Sunday morning when common folks had the time to sit with a cup of coffee and browse over the mountain stack of articles and advertisements.  At some point, this "other stuff" that accompanied the news became known as "filler", that empty text and image that said nothing except the next retail blow-out, personal classified, or job listing.  A service, no doubt, but perhaps more to the newspaper publisher than to anyone else.

And so, in these sad days when we mourn the loss of those "simpler" days of morning and afternoon news runs, we can also mourn the loss of filler, which we can still celebrate, if we pay enough attention to the wealth of banner ads that accompany our online experiences.
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