FAX OF THE FUTURE?
In the December issue of Quill, “The Ever-Evolving Newspaper,” made for fascinating reading, especially when it talked of the journalism of the future.
It made me think of my undergraduate days at Temple University in the late 1940s and our concern about the journalism of our future.
The big thing was the facsimile — a fax newspaper in every living room! It was the future, then.
The only problem (other than getting machines into every home, of course) was what to do with long stories. There were no individual sheets of the special-coated fax papers then, only a long roll. If the story “jumped” to a later page, how would a reader go back and read the pages that came before, since a long roll of paper was spewing out of the machine.
And how to handle that long roll as it accumulated? Or was someone to stand by the machine and tear off a page as each came through the machine? Or were the stories to run on the same “page” until completed? And, so on.
But, it was generally agreed (because we had a Cox facsimile in our J-Department newsroom) that these problems were not insurmountable, and that was the way of the future.
Except for one of my contemporaries — who said that television was the way of the future — the rest of us were to go into the traditional newspapers.
The fact that newspapers are still around, after more than 50 years, leads me to believe that they will be around for at least another 50 years.
Thank you for the glimpse of the future, and the wallow into the past.
— Andrew Kevorkian
Greater Philadelphia Chapter