100 articles – ‘Black and white and all over?’

1 October 2010

Written by: Lawrie Zion

Black and white and all over?’ by Rachel Buchanan

While the majority of my fellow journalism students probably read their news on-line, I am a lover of newspapers.   The feel of paper between my fingers, the ability to quickly scan a page to work out which articles I want to read – perhaps it is just my age, and habit, but I am hard pressed to move with the times.

In Rachel Buchanan’s feature piece ‘Black and white all over?’, published in The Age on 25 August 2007, the ‘old days’ version of a newspaper office is brought to life.   Reading it, we realise that there is a vast disparity between the cadet reporter at a newspaper 30 or more years ago and the professional journalist in the 21st century. 

Buchanan outlines the newer on-line and digital technologies that have brought an end to this version of a journalist’s or reporter’s existence.  On-line media has created a requirement from the public for instant news.  There is an expectation that information be provided immediately, with little time for editing or checking facts. 

Inaccuracies have always occurred, even when deadlines aren’t so tight, but is this the model that we truly want to move forward with?  I dread a future where the resounding thud of the weekend papers on my little weatherboard house no longer exists.

Angela Cowburn is a final-year Bachelor of Journalism student at La Trobe University, where Rachel Buchanan is also a lecturer in journalism.