The Fine Print

Randy Grider | April 01, 2012

EDITOR’S JOURNAL

Embracing change is more enjoyable than we often like to admit

I recently had a friendly debate with a younger co-worker about print vs. online editorial. His argument was that everything is going digital. “Bah humbug,” summed up my response.

Randy Grider is editor of Truckers News. Write him at rgrider@randallreilly.com.

Being an old newspaper guy, I admit that I can be a real pain when it comes to change. It’s just part of our nature to be cynical about just about everything new. Not so long ago, I swore to another friend that there was no way digital photos were going to replace film within the next decade. Can you still buy film?

I also have made passionate arguments that newspapers won’t disappear in my lifetime. While I still believe a few large newspapers and a decent number of community newspapers will continue to publish for the foreseeable future, we all have witnessed the demise of a growing list of weeklies and dailies.

Then in the middle of my stubborn rant, I suddenly realized I probably hadn’t picked up more than a handful of newspapers in the past two years. Oh, I still read my local paper and some national publications, but I rarely soil my hands with newsprint. By the time the newspaper is placed in the rack, I have already read almost everything that’s in it online.

When I look at the headlines on paper, they seem like yesterday’s news. I guess even at my old age of 46, I have evolved farther into the digital age than I care to admit until cornered in a lively debate.

To my defense, when I want to read more in-depth pieces or when I want to read something for entertainment, it’s usually a magazine I pick up. But for quick information, I click away with the growing crowd of gotta-have-it-now online users.

Last year, I spoke to a journalism class at the University of Alabama, my alma mater. I asked the students how they receive news. While they listed a hodgepodge of places, almost all were online.

Honestly, the generation gap isn’t as wide as you might think. Many of Truckers News’ loyal readers are regular visitors to our website as well as active on our social media offerings. I have come to appreciate the instant interaction of our Facebook site. I can talk to drivers and get immediate feedback about issues, which often makes my job easier.

Recently, I have taken over the evening postings on the Truckers News Facebook page and have enjoyed reading your comments. Some are insightful and others are just downright entertaining. If you’re not already a fan, I encourage you to join. It’s a great way to share information and get to know each other in a more personal way.

While I’ve done a good job of convincing my friend that I’m an old curmudgeon hopelessly lost in the Dark Ages, I’m actually developing a pretty good computer tan.

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