Let me take you back to 1999. It’s a long time ago, I know. Back before Facebook and Twitter existed, a time when people blogged on GeoCities and chatted on Usenet. I was working for a large newspaper and was tasked with using Y2K as an excuse to modernize a somewhat antiquated pre-press environment.
Every system we had was a potential candidate for modernization; vendors made weekly pitches for solutions both large and small; and just to add to the overall sense of urgency, management embarked on a massive organizational change program—brought on in part by the possibilities of automating some of our processes. One of these changes resulted in manual plate-lithography being replaced with a direct computer-to-plate solution, that meant we had to redeploy an entire group of employees.
Old-style social media has long since been replaced with Web 2.0. Modern newspapers publish a curated feed direct to their websites and manage public discussion through comment-driven systems attached direct to individual stories. Press rooms used to have teams of sub-editors who were fearsome guardians of fact and grammatical correctness.
Most of the subs have now been replaced by digital media specialists who understand that speed beats detail in today’s 24-hour, Twitter-enabled news. Now we are entering another time where intelligent automation, blockchain and the
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