Saturday, August 17, 2019

Landed on the median strip

What did our six month look at the newspaper do for us? Predictably as much as it ever has.

It is not usual to see them laid out in this way. That's the main reason I did it; once I realized that I had moved in interest from the origins and parts of paper production to seeing what the many metaphors were for. Once I'd set on this editorial direction, I wanted to limit it and so logically stuck to my country and broader Australasia. I did only just see the Transcontinental that should/could have gone in a place or nationality newspaper entry. There are more on Trove I'm certain.

While it's true that the information and reportage contained in Business Review Weekly may be found before 1981 and after 2013, it's also clear that many of the academic papers, books and journals reference many of the early newspapers. Without an exhaustive analysis, it is hard to know how important the Box Hill Reporter was or is.

Their propensity to cover local issues may be different in Pingelly and Claremont, and this may also have changed over time as more sources of information become available and demographics change.

Computability theory is found more directly and/or frequently in journals and academic articles. The initial search for periodicals turns up the Truth in Queensland talking about the Navy's 'electronic computer' in 1951, Newcastle Sun's theory on an air crash in 1948 and the Barrier Miner in Broken Hill promoting a talk on the evolution theory; the age of the Earth being "far greater than the 6000 years allowed bv the computations of such men as Bishop Ussher." in 1929.

When looking up 'recursion', BBC News reports "A 25-year-old has been sentenced to a year in prison for the part he played in hacking the website of Sony Pictures International in July 2011." Variety magazine reports that Netflix has secured the rights to sci-fi program, Recursion.

Both these stories could have appeared in newspapers; the first in the general news section and the Variety article in the entertainment section.

Recursion Radio is a regular programme by Edgar Paz appearing on Mixcloud.


There was a division that meant that you could listen to the trots on the wireless or watch the footy on tele and, if you missed that or just wanted a different analysis, there would be a write-up in that week's paper. Newspapers might have had the edge on parochial language and local minutia because of their propensity to service particular areas; radio and TV often had wider coverage - though this isn't hard and fast.
On the Web, the IT Pro site's highly technical breakdown concerning recursion is enhanced by something the print media can only match with references. One can argue whether hyperlinks are quicker, more exact and accurate than footnotes in books, certainly a newspaper has to explain the subject right there on the page.

And now we have podcasts which are becoming increasingly popular.


We would expect the newspaper's heyday to fall somewhere between the number published in 1605 when things were just getting started, and the encroachment of competing sources of news and information. There were 53 different papers published in London alone in 1776. The first radio broadcast on Christmas Eve, 1906 capped a year in which three and a half thousand articles a month average were published there.

The first international television signal was transmitted in 1928. Newspapers had doubled in daily circulation from 500,000 in 1901 to 1.2 million in 1925. Public Internet and the World Wide Web debuted in the 1990s.
A 2015 report from the Brookings Institution shows that the number of newspapers per hundred million population fell from 1,200 (in 1945) to 400 in 2014. Over that same period, circulation per capita declined from 35 percent in the mid-1940s to under 15 percent. The number of newspaper journalists has decreased from 43,000 in 1978 to 33,000 in 2015. Other traditional news media have also suffered. Since 1980 the television networks have lost half their audience for evening newscasts; the audience for radio news has shrunk by 40%.


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