In the articles we read for this past week, we again revisited the seemingly endless debate over printed writings versus digital writings. To be honest, as I began to read I sort of rolled my eyes and thought, “Are we seriously having this conversation still?” However, there were some points in the articles that bring up and shed some light on new discussions and elaborations. In fact, something I found particularly interesting in the first article was the point that digital writings are more about being simply consumable “content” while printed writings are described as physical creations of art. As author Don DeLillo is cited as saying, “I need the sound of the keys, the keys of a manual typewriter. The hammers striking the page. I like to see the words, the sentences, as they take shape. It’s an aesthetic issue: when I work I have a sculptor’s sense of the shape of the words I’m making.” To DeLillo, writing in itself is a personal process of artistic creation and not just a production of content for others to consume and then forget. I really appreciated the nuanced way in which the article approached this idea of writing and reading taking on new meanings and values in technology. While I get annoyed by arguments that are super anti-technology, I think this article remained unbiased to either physical writings or digital writings. It looked solely at the ways we use these different mediums for writing and reading for digital works and begs the question of whether we can change the way we use these kinds of works for the better. It has always been my own argument, as well, that we need to approach digital writings differently in order to take more away from them once we have finished reading the text.
The second article was similar in that it also argued that internet journalism has taken on a very different form than traditional journalism used to have. It also argued against the way “thinkpieces” became a cultural phenomenon of the digital age but became detrimental to journalism overall. Instead, the article pointed towards online magazines as the next wave of positive effect to cyber journalism. I think it was very interesting the way the author argued that such a publication only takes a relatively small group effort to be successful and efficient in its journalism. I also really, really appreciated the questions the author sought to answer, such as, “Should small magazines embrace digital, and hope the painstaking pieces they seek to publish can survive in the cacophony of tweets and blog posts? Should they embrace print and relegate themselves to the world of fetish objects and coffee table books? How are these tiny publications, which usually employ no more than three people, able to maintain their outsized reputations and reach?” I think these questions in particular were definitely worth exploring because they demand an answer that relates to the context in which these sorts of publications are actually made and read.