NEWS DUMP

pressThe opening credits of Billy Wilder’s 1974 filmed version of The Front Page portray the short, inglorious life of a daily newspaper, from typesetting and printing to being distributed and read. The final frame shows the front page being used to line the bottom of a birdcage; catching bird droppings is all that old news is good for. Today, no news seems to be too old, at least not on the New York Times website. The pleasure of opening a daily newspaper is its freshness, not only the crisp newsprint, but the news itself. Once you’re finished reading, you can throw the paper in the recycling bin with the satisfying feeling of a job well done. That’s what’s so disturbing about reading the NYT online. Bits of yesterday’s news–of last week’s news!–linger for days. It’s nice to have access to archives, but here the archives are mixed in with breaking stories. It feels more like a news dump than a newspaper.

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