Twenty Things I Liked in Twenty-Twelve
While I’m not happy that “Newsweek” is publishing its last issue this week, I am glad that the publishing business seems to be adapting to the changes in the marketplace that have come about since the world became “digital.” We all saw it coming, but what we didn’t see was how quickly it could alter our fortunes. I was let go from “Harper’s Bazaar Online” ten years ago when Glenda Bailey came on board. At that time, my editor was worried because Bailey didn’t even like to use email. And for some inexplicable reason she’s still running the magazine . . .
But I digress! “Newsweek” tried to stay afloat as both a print magazine and an online entity, but it didn’t really work. People nowadays just don’t have the attention span that it takes to read a magazine article. Many of them get their news in Twitter-style snippets that are short on detail and often lacking entirely in acknowledgements. Paranoid, groundless blog posts asserting that the world is run by evil, secret societies have more legs than actual news. In the meantime, morons argue that the “mainstream media” ignores the real issues, yet their real issues are generally based upon the sort of falsified propaganda I just mentioned. The moral of the story: people are going to believe what they want regardless of what you tell them.
On the bright side, people like me are going to continue to read the whole story when it’s necessary for us to understand the whole story. What’s more, we’re going to continue to be convinced of our own mental superiority because we can actually process information from multiple sources in order to come to an informed conclusion. That, in turn, is going to feed our moral superiority. Soon we’re going to form secret societies just because we can.
So as “Newsweek” closes its door, another door opens. And behind that door there are people like me, ready and willing to take advantage of a world where almost no one can process a stream of information longer than 140 characters. And that makes me smile.