Now nostalgia; paper still on line six decades after
There's a quaintness to Lindsay Anderson's early documentary about how a local newspaper works. The family business was already over 100 years old when he shot this, and now over six decades later000009 I was surprised to see it still alive and well on a website.
The old Linotype methods and way of putting a newspaper together have changed radically, and I suspect even the weekly activities of a local beat reporter are different too. Film is so old that messages are still being sent by pneumatic tubes (resembles those gimmicks for sending deposits at a drive-thru bank).
I worked for a newspaper throughout the '80s and we still had ancient ways of doing things -even at my desk I would get an outside line by not dialing but asking the switchboard for a line; I typed my stories on manual typewriter with carbon paper for copies, etc. Layout and group proof-reading at a table was also antiquated as shown in this movie made three decades earlier.
Nostalgia apart, Anderson's film does show us the purpose of local reporting and the face-to-face style of gathering news, even of the trivial "local person's picture in the paper" variety and working with advertisers. One can easily surmise what is being lost, at a very rapid pace, by the shift to internet news and the unchecked "going viral" nature of today's media world, compared to a simpler but generally more conscientious era.
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