I don't know about you, but I'm plumb tired of talking about the print industry's future—or lack thereof, if that's your stance. If you talk optimistically about print's future, or even its present, or highlight some of its more successful constituents, you risk being called "an old-school print cheerleader." If you cover digital publishing "too much" or talk about ways publishers need to adapt to our changing environment, you're viewed by some as hurting the print industry.
The thing is that everyone's reality is different. One of the best quotes that sums up this very old concept: "Reality is only a Rorschach inkblot." (Or, another of my favorites: "Reality is an illusion caused by lack of alcohol.")
And then there's the talk of whose fault it is that the media is in such a state of turmoil—that will certainly drive one to drink. The newspaper industry has received the brunt of this over the past couple of years. Washington Post reporter Paul Farhi recently wrote about this in the American Journalism Review, where he stressed that the decline of the newspaper industry is not journalists' fault.
Jeff Jarvis—associate professor and director of the interactive journalism program at the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism—blogged a reply, pointing out that, umm, actually, "Yes, it is our fault." While he presents an articulate argument, I have to ask: Does it really matter? Will blaming journalists help the industry recover?
I am not going to argue about whether or not print is dying. We will all die one day, but do we go around talking about it day in and day out? If we did, we'd probably go insane. We publish content and will continue to do so, whether it's on traditional paper, synthetic paper, paper made using kenaf, banana paper, LED screens, electronic-paper screens, or on Magna Doodles.