Letters to Redmond

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Readers chime in on the rise of online news outlets and what that means for print.

Print Lives!
Recently, Redmond Editor in Chief Doug Barney wrote in his Barney's Rubble column about the battle between print and Web media ("Print Is Dead -- Not!" April 2007). You had a lot to say, both in favor of online news and in opposition to it, but you made one thing clear: Print may be facing a new challenger in Web-based media, but it won't go down without a fight! Here's a sampling of what your peers had to say:

Just like the microwave didn't throw the oven out of the kitchen, the Internet won't kill print media -- but it will considerably reduce its power. I don't subscribe to a newspaper and have very few printed magazines (including Redmond, of course!). I get all my news through the Internet, radio and TV (in that order). If I want to read while on the throne, I bring my wireless laptop.

There will always be books and magazines because some people won't part from them, but they'll be the minority. What I'm worried about is losing our history. Right now I can go to a library and search newspapers from 75 years ago and see the news of that time.

What about 75 years from now? Will we be able to browse the Web site of today? Probably not. And he who forgets his history is bound to repeat the same mistakes ...
Louis Vincent
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Let's start at the positive end of Doug Barney's article: I agree with him 50 percent. I enjoy reading tangible items such as newspapers, magazines and books. I can't force myself to read an eBook to save my life. A majority of the Web sites he mentions (Drudge in particular) do receive their information in the form of print publications. But I have an issue with his stance on bloggers. He refers to them as "amateurs." Amateurs in regard to what -- journalism? Wouldn't Barney place himself in this category as well? I mean, all he really does is print information that he gathered from printed material given to him by Microsoft and other companies.

He also mentions the term "annoying." Does someone force him to read these blogs? Bloggers are the Internet's version of journalists. They find information, post information and give opinionated comments on the subject matter. Isn't this what he's done by "printing" this article for all to read? He gives an example of Moby's blog not being "news." If I read something on a blog -- or even a printed publication such as this magazine -- I research it. I don't believe everything I read, whether it comes from bloggers or Redmond. And it's "news" to me if I didn't know about it.

I think it's shortsighted of him to lump bloggers into the "amateur and annoying" category. That's a very broad stroke Barney painted.
Michael D. Alligood
Jacksonville, Fla.

I finished reading Doug Barney's editorial piece on print versus the Web as a news source and I think he's spot on in his assessment. I prefer the look and feel of the print media. He mentions many of the pet peeves I have with online news but he left out one of the biggest annoyances in my opinion -- stupid, online advertisements!

With print, I can easily turn the page if I don't want to read an advertisement. In many articles on the Web they're placed right smack-dab in the middle of the text. They break up the flow of an article and make it more difficult to comprehend. For crying out loud, does everyone have ads today? Yes, I know that's how Web sites generate revenue, but [they should] stick the ads on the borders or somewhere where they aren't so intrusive.
Bill O'Reilly
Seattle, Wash.

I purposefully avoid eReading when possible and print every online admin manual that comes my way. Doesn't PDF stand for "Print da file?"

I enjoyed Barney's column so much I think I'd like to link it in my blog!

... not!
Mark Danner
Spokane, Wash.

About the Author

This page is compiled by the editors of Redmond magazine from your letters. Write to us at [email protected] and if your letter is printed in the magazine, you'll be entered into a drawing for a free Redmond T-shirt.


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