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Amnesia or Panic?

Tim Rutten writes one of the best media columns in the nation and this week he addresses the redesign of The Wall Street Journal. with an article that examines some of the key issues of information delivery of our time. Though he doesn’t specifically address preservation and long term access (two of the primary concerns of those of us at FGI), he does write thoughtfully about the advantages and roles of print versus online access.

Some quotes to tempt you to read the whole article:

New media triumphalists and old media traditionalists have for too long insisted that newspaper journalism’s future has to belong almost entirely to [print] or [online]. What the redesigned Journal strongly suggests is that newspapers will be of greatest service to their readers by taking a simultaneous and complementary stance in both venues….

This balanced, and rather convincing, notion of how to proceed through this era of wrenching journalistic transition is like a breath of adult sobriety in an ongoing discussion of the journalistic future that usually seems to demand that we all choose between amnesia and panic.

… the Information Age is really a “data age.” We’re literally bathed in data, especially on the Web, but painfully short of information, which is data verified and set in a comprehensible and useful context.

See also: Overview — Frequently Asked Questions: So What’s Different About the Newspaper? [Proquest link, subscription required] Wall Street Journal (Eastern edition) Jan 2, 2007. pg. G.3

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