The term “Political Correctness” has been around for a long time. We know that it means that a person has chosen to employ language which is sensitive to current trends in social consciousness. For instance, one does not use racial slurs or insensitive language about women. Gender references should always reflect both genders, such as clergypersons instead of clergymen, or mail carriers, instead of mailmen. I get it, and I respect it.
But the term “Digital Correctness” was a new one to me. I came across it in an article a week or so ago. It turns out that it is phrase applied equally to publishers who make the decision to move from a daily printed newspaper to one which is published only weekly. Daily news is to be reported online, instead of in print form. And, it has an application which refers to the reader, as well.
Obviously, there is an economic component to the decision for a publisher to take this route. It is far less expensive to produce an online version of the daily news than the print form. Staff for an online medium is greatly reduced, sometimes only requiring a small staff of writers/journalists and a room full of computers. The whole technology of printing a newspaper is skipped, only employing it on a once-a-week edition. Space requirements are more limited. Cost of materials is negligible.
On the other hand, Digital Correctness is also applied to readers of the news. Some people have found that the transition to digital instruments for reading the news is acceptable and even preferable. Using one’s cell phone, Kindle, or other pad instrument is convenient…and less expensive. As one who reads The New York Times on a daily basis, the cost differential between the print version (even when home delivered) and the online version is significant. I mean really significant.
I tried it; in fact, I still have a digital subscription. But after a couple of days of using it, I found myself really missing the experience of the page. It has to do with the feel of it, something which probably can be overcome. But there is more to it than that.
· I miss the photography. It is much more exciting in the print form and more extensive also.
· I miss the advertisements. I seldom buy through the NYT, but I love the professionalism of the advertising. I know the Chanel ad will be at the top left of p. 2.
· I like to cut out articles, not only for myself, but for others I know will benefit from them.
· I like the size of the printed page.
· Frequently I find myself reading articles I didn’t intend to, simply because I stumble over them in the printed form.
It It wasn’t the same. Consequently, I find myself leaving my Kindle at home and stopping at the CVS to pick up a paper…really a paper.
I t I think I’m not going to be Digitally Correct. It just doesn’t satisfy me. Oh, if it becomes clear that I have to bow and bend to the economic benefit, I’ll sacrifice. But in the meantime, I’m hooked on paper.
Photo Credit: Peter Preston