Tagged With newspapers

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Each generation seems to think that it's the first to imagine radical change in the newspaper industry. The predictions of futuristic robot editors? They date back to at least 1968. Tablet news? At least 1994. Printing the news by radio right in your home? 1934.

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"What for example could be staler than to-morrow morning's newspaper account of a prize-fight or political convention one has already received over the radio?" wrote one commentator in 1928. Radio was overtaking print as the news medium of the day and some people insisted that newspapers were going to disappear completely. And with that, "serious" reporting would go the way of the dodo. Sound familiar?

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Otto A. Silha, was a pretty forward-thinking guy — especially in an industry that we think of today as tremendously resistant to change. Silha was the publisher of the Minneapolis Star and Tribune newspapers, and he was known for embracing new technologies in the publishing business. He was enthusiastic about computers, networking, and the tools that he thought would make his business most efficient: robot editors.

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I print nearly everything: boarding passes, itineraries and all the online papers that I use for research to write this blog. I know this makes me a weirdo — these things don't "need" to be converted to paper form. But believe it or not I'm living much closer to the paper-filled future that was imagined for most of the 20th century. Paperless office my arse.

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If you've ever read the newspaper in a library or a cafe, you've probably used those long wooden holders that help make them slightly easier to wrangle without tearing the pages and impossible to pilfer. But an ad agency in Switzerland found a way to make them even more useful with invisible LED news tickers that enhance the day-old papers with the latest headlines.

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The internet has all but replaced traditional print media as most people's primary news source, with newspapers and magazines across the country either scrambling to adapt or slowly being crushed by the wheels of technological advancement.