Wednesday, December 2, 2009

If anyone needs me, I’ll be on the cutting room floor

Back in the old days, when we killed trees to tell people that it snowed yesterday, we operated under word counts.

We wrote in pyramid styles, expected our articles to be cut off at the ankles and hid them under awkward headlines that were missing prepositions.

Then we plugged in. Instead of going to your address and whacking your home with rolled up newsprint, we gave you our address and invited you to click on us at your convenience.

No more word counts, no more missing prepositions. Right?


Articles in newsprint are sometimes cut down to size, but I say the hacked version doesn’t have to end up online.

My newsroom has trouble distinguishing between media. The shrunken head that screams out its disjointed message from the newsstand is the same topper for the online product even though there’s plenty of room for more words.

The prospect of the Internet running out of space is a real one without enough IP addresses to locate information. But I hardly think butchering my work to fit nicely in a one-column, eight-inch hole won’t send the web crashing down if the uncut version ends up online.

A digital option shouldn’t just be a cookie cutter of the print product. Anyone who thinks otherwise deserves a kick in the ‘as.’

The Hyper Journalist


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