Newsgathering Now and Then

Today marks the Honolulu Advertiser’s 150th anniversary issue. In 1856 (five years after the first edition of the New York Times), a few hundred colorless editions came off the press. Today, the Advertiser can print 48 full-color pages per issue.

The longevity of newspapers in an increasingly digital age seems to be a testament of simpler times. Despite the proliferation of radio, television, blogs, RSS, podcasts, and vidcasts, the nature of informing the public has changed dramatically, yet enough things stay the same. Even with all the competition, dailies still sell millions of copies a day.

Standards developed by papers over a century ago are largely still followed today, and in many cases have influenced competing media. For example, considered the “inverted pyramid” style of writing – originally developed to cope with the unreliability of the telegraph, but now a staple of reporting found in every form of news we use today.

With news now mallable and routinely edited by the reader, it’ll be interesting to see how newspapers continue to adapt to the brave new world delivered by technology.