BITS AND PIECES
Future of Print Must Include Print
A recent Sunday newspaper comic strip, Opus, by Berke Breathed, features computer mogul Steve Jobs confiscating all older technology from America's favorite penguin, telling him to "Embrace the wired future. Let's clean house."
Opus gives up his letters, papers, notes, cards, magazines, books, records, CDs, DVDs, televisions, radios, telephones—virtually all types of media and communication tools invented prior to the year 2000.
In place of all the bulky media, Jobs gives Opus a hand-held mechanism with a keyboard, flat panel screen and music player—clearly meant to be the answer to all of Opus' media-based needs.
In the next panel, Jobs orders Opus to hand over one last thing he seemingly refuses to surrender.
"Uh...the bed?" Opus asks.
"No. That," Jobs repeats, pointing off panel.
"Uh...the bed?" Opus repeats. Lying atop his bed is a newspaper, clearly the thing Jobs wants to eliminate.
Anyone who has followed the exploits of the fictional character Opus—from Bloom County to Outland, and now his self-titled comic strip—knows of his unabashed love affair with the newspaper. As a former sports editor, I share his commitment to the printed word, which has carried over to my magazine gig here at North American Publishing.
Not to sound like one of the countless old guard who bemoan the latest technology and vow to die with the tools of the past, but there's still something quite romantic about the printed word. Newspapers, magazines and books have always been a source of excitement for me.
Walk into a bookstore and your senses are bombarded. Not techno-bombarded...you don't need the latest version of Flash to get the full effect from a Border's. Whether it's a book, magazine, newspaper or other periodical you seek, there's a little something for everyone. Hell, they even offer java and snacks to coerce people to sit down, indulge and escape in the warming embrace of a good read.