January 13th, 2008

Rosalind Russell, Cary Grant, His Girl Friday

Funny Christmas Dinner Moment - ¿Quién es más obsoleto?

(originally posted on my work LJ)
The funny--yet not funny--Christmas dinner moment came when I talked about a paper I just completed on the future--or seeming lack of one--for print journalism.

When discussing my scholarly pursuits, you'll find I'm so single-minded that I forget little things like the fact that I'm saying this while sitting across the table from not just one but two newspaper journalist relatives--! I was quickly reminded! Hey, there!!

I protested that my own personal view was that I do still want print journalism around, and I said as much in my paper, but the articles and books that I found on the subject have been practically eulogies of the modern print newspaper (and I said nothing of Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg's growing, persistent taps on the funeral drum -- see the very end of his December 17 column).

Frankly, what reminded me of my paper and led to my mentioning it was the both of them talking about certain older reporters they knew who have been accepting the buyouts offered at their respective newspapers this year.

But of course the point came up of the irony of someone who works in a library talking about some other profession not having a future--! "Okay," I said, "we're all obsolete!"

Of the three of us, two are 40-years-old--and the other only 32!

Meanwhile, one of them has been asked to travel back to the alma mater and speak about the future of the profession to journalism students. How to sound encouraging while stepping over the real-life minefield--?

¿Quién es más obsoleto? Who is more obsolete?

Only time will tell...