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Permanence of paper

May 16, 2006

The last thing I did before going to bed last night was check USA Today online. When I woke up this morning the page was still on my screen. I hit refresh and it changed. So much for permanence.

Robert Mercer of Cypress College talks about the new paradigm of here-is-the-news-now compared to the here-is-this-issue-of-the-paper news (my words, his sentiment). The USA Today refresh sure emphasized his concept.

Cerritos journalism students are slowly embracing the online edition, but their hearts are still entrenched in the print edition. The print edition drives deadlines, not the online edition. And of course, the College Publisher tool we use emphasizes the issue concept.

I think students still prefer the permanence of the paper product over the electronic product. The irony, of course, is that the electronic product is so much easier to archive and access in the short run than the paper version. But we’ve still got 50-year-old copies of the Talon Marks (not that anyone reads them with regularity). Will we still have the electronic archives 50 years from now?

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