Friday, October 22, 2010

The End Is Near

I just watched another video from about MIT's advances with gesture interfaces. It got me thinking about the fate of the newspaper industry. Specifically about Rupert Murdoch. Now mind you, I'm NOT a fan of Mr. Murdoch, and dislike the way he's desperately attempting to prolong the print journalism era. But I think after all is said and done, history will record Rupert as a mighty champion, and warrior to the end. Who else do you see standing on the shore, facing this tsunami we call new media, and shaking his fist at it?

We techies, nerds, and even a few common folk have been bearing down on old media and condeming it as old dinosaurs. But for hundreds of years, were not the civilized masses of humanity able to turn to a newspaper as a reliable source of information? Printing presses were owned by the paper publishers, and also churned out books and pamphlets, and America's own Declaration of Independence to a fledging young nation. Rare was an idle press. The education of the modern world was channeled through the printing press.

Mind you, printing presses themselves are not going anywhere. There will always be a market for small press runs of some publication or other. No, what is dieing is a way the world perceives itself. Newspaper barons and television moguls are part of the nineteenth century. The fact that they survived into the twenty first century speaks very well of their health and tenacity. Which is why Rupert Murdoch still has much fight in him. We'll continue to hear of the ways that he is fighting dirty, and appalling us into loathing the newspaper industry that much more. But thank God there IS a Rupert Murdoch. His actions continue to make us insightful as to just what it means to be able to write a blog like this. Or to watch television "a la carte". Or to be able to buy just one song online, and not have to get a CD in a store.

Godspeed, Mr. Murdoch. Give 'em hell!