The past and the future collided in the Rocky Mountain foothills yesterday. Luckily my husband, the news hound that he is, was at the front lines. He’s in Denver for a few days, one of which is for the purpose of delivering a presentation on New Media. Upon arrival at his speaking engagement he encountered an Old Media frenzy. Much as he would like to think it was paparazzi, it had nothing to do with him.
It had everything do with the closing of the Rocky Mountain News today. On the same day he addressed photographers and journalists on how to reinvent themselves and retool their skills for the emerging world of new media, members of the old media were packing their boxes.
He knew about the Rocky Mountain News before he arrived in Colorado because he read it on Twitter. He knew because journalists were Tweeting the information before their old-fashioned media employer could get the word out through traditional channels.
What a convenient — albeit painful — backdrop for his presentation.
As for all the newly unemployed writers, editors, copy editors, designers, photographers, sales representatives, classified advertising clerks, news delivery workers, truck drivers, composing room workers, graphic artists,circulation managers and many others, it was a day of heartbreak.
I had lunch today with my group of gal pals, all of us unemployed newspaper folks. We talked of the seemingly endless parade of newspaper funerals. We talked of our careers and dreams going up in flames.
I’m thinking, I’ll shed a few tears for the Rocky Mountain News and the others to follow. Bury the dead.
Times are a’ changin.’ Newspapers and many other industries are going down in flames. What great stories we’ll tell our grandchildren of how we rose out of those ashes and reinvented our lives.