Thursday, December 04, 2008

Cutting deeply

It's been another three weeks since my last post, which isn't exactly in keeping with my stated goal of posting more regularly. It remains my intention, but I need to make good on it.

I still care a lot about this business, and while I'm online, that certainly includes print. I'm proud that I've been able to adapt to new ideas and technology at my age, but in my heart, I'll remain an ink-stained wretch until I'm gone.

Anybody who loves what we do is horrified over what's going on right now, and you have to wonder: As the talented veterans are being axed nationwide pretty much simply because they're that -- talented veterans -- what about the next generation? Two issues, and I know this is eight-miles-through-snowdrifts-to-school stuff: 1) Are they going to care as much about diligent, accurate and thorough reporting, well-crafted writing and the stylebook as those before them and 2) giving them the benefit of the doubt, if they do, who's going to be around to teach them?

I can't help but think that a lot of the people who got me started in the right directions when I was coming up wouldn't even be around for me if the current conditions had existed in the late '70s and early '80s.

And the other question that must be asked, although it makes me cringe: With language shortcuts increasing as people e-mail and text more, does some of this really matter? As long as the factual accuracy is there and the message gets across to a new generation of readers/users, is being anal about language and style a thing of the past?

I don't think so personally. But just asking.

My thoughts and wishes are with all of those going through these terrible times.

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