The Durham Chronicles— the Times They are a Changing


I was sitting in the lobby of John’s College reading the Times, not to be confused with the NY Times. No, this is just the Times. But even that Times has been changing. There are two immediately noticeable changes: 1) the format has gone magazine style on some days, and 2) there are actually color pictures and color graphics instead of just endless black and white words– (shock—- what is the world coming to?) The picture above gives you a sense of the transitional phase, but the picture below shows you what you find most of the time today,

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As you will probably know, the print media has been taking a beating for a while, thanks to people now getting their news mostly online. Like the record industry, and like the book industry, printed newspapers seem to be an endangered species. And no one would have guessed that the harbinger of all this would be the glitzy U.S. Today. When that newspaper first came out, it was a bit of a novelty. People of course liked the pictures and charts and colorfulness of it, but the articles were often too insubstantial, too short and sweet, too simplified, and so the conventional wisdom was that it would come and go like other experiments. What those sages had not realized is that we are now in the era of the visual learner, the computer generation on steroids. As such more visual, more pictorial, more visually stimulating, was the wave of the future even for hardcore news in print. You know the world is changing when even the Times has to adjust to keep up with the times….. It remains to be seen whether by the end of this century no one will be reading printed newspapers. They will have all gone the way of digitalization and will be read only on computers, tablets, Kindles, phones etc.

Doubtless there are some trees glad to hear of this eventuality, but not some lumberjacks, or paper companies. What was it Bobby Dylan said…..

Gather ’round people Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters Around you have grown
And accept it that soon You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
Keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
Don’t speak too soon For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they, they are a-changin’

Come senators, Congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t block at the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside And it’s ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
Don’t criticize What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is Rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend a hand
For your times they are a-changin’

The line it is drawn
And the curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is Rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’


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