November 30, 2005

OUT OF TOUCH? I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WE WERE STILL STOCKING TOUCH ON THE SHELVES

newspaperjpg.jpgWhenever I think about disputing the fact that newspapers are behind the times and remote and out of sync with the mainstream and desperately clinging to a past notion of journalism that is no longer relevant in our times, I'll pull this story out, read it, and then keep my mouth appropriately shut:

ARE DVDs RENDERING VHS OBSOLETE?

By RICK BENTLEY

The Fresno Bee

FRESNO, Calif. "Star Wars'' fans headed to local retail and video stores Nov. 1 to pick up the latest film in the epic space series, ""Star Wars: Episode 3 Revenge of the Sith.''

There on the shelves sat stacks of DVDs in widescreen and full-screen formats.

Where were all the VHS copies?

Like Yoda at a pretty baby contest, VHS owners simply were out of luck. The blockbuster movie was not released in the VHS cassette format.

VHS has become the ugly duckling of the video industry. The explosion of DVD rentals and sales since the format was introduced in 1996 has pushed VHS to the back shelves of many retail and video stores.

Like Yoda at a pretty baby contest?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Ahem.

::::deep cleansing breaths::::

Whew. Better now. Back to the story...

Where were all the VHS copies?

Where? WHERE???

AT THE FLEA MARKET, FER CRISSAKES!!!!!!!!

::::deep cleansing breaths::::

::::additional deep cleansing breaths::::

::::additional deep cleansing breaths followed by meditation, two Percocets and an elephant tranquilizer self-darted into my neck::::




Better now.

I'm going to give Rick the benefit of the doubt on this one. Because I've worked for papers in the past - some of which are no longer printing - where editors have tripped across long-established - nay, even borderline ancient - phenomenonae that they were previously unaware of, deemed them newsworthy and then forced some poor schmuck to cover the story as if it were breaking news. Alas, I've been that poor schmuck who's had to hang my name over a story that I knew was 10 years late. Not the editor's name. My name. As an editor, I've tried to protect my reporters from having to suffer that fate by calling bullshit whenever a "You know what I noticed yesterday?" turd has rolled out of a news meeting.

But dude. Seriously. You didn't have to write it like this. Especially 27 days after the movie was re-released.

VHS or DVD?

Arguments, for now, can be made for both sides. But all signs point to the VHS format fading away.

The emergence of one technology over another is nothing new.

CDs have almost pushed vinyl albums aside, though some still are made.


That's one of the many problems with too many newspapers today. We're wayyyyy too good at telling you about something that "is nothing new." They ought to change the media genre to isnothingnewspaper.

Good lord.

Oh, and copy desk folk. I know "rendering" is a nice, active verb. It sounds cool and probably filled out the headline just dandy, but "making" would have worked fine.

Posted by Jeff at November 30, 2005 07:46 AM
Comments

I wrote the reporter and asked if he wrote the DVD VHS article 3 years ago and just decided to print it.

Posted by: Ben at November 30, 2005 09:45 AM
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