Old news is no news.
That’s the philosophy of dyed-in-the-wool veteran newsmen who we’ve long admired. For the generation who might not interpret what that means, it stresses the importance of getting information made public as quickly as possible.
If the word wasn’t off the press in the next newspaper issue, then a person would already know the information from another source, whatever it might be. Thus that story would be dead. Perhaps not completely lifeless, but certainly of far less importance than if it had been released immediately, or in the most timely manner possible.
An article “a day late was an impact short,” if we might politely change another saying, but editors, realizing there was some value, would still use it. The “dead” story would appropriately, according to stringent newsbeat viewpoint, be “buried” in the less-read portions of the paper. The “scoop,” or revelation news, would garner front page.
No matter how insignificant something might seem to another, perhaps uninvolved or uncaring, timeliness of presentation is still most significant, in our humble opinion. If a horse is named grand champion on Sunday morning, the story should be released as soon as possible in the public media, be it newspaper, magazine, airwaves or internet.
How major city newspapers could get an important late night story into the next day’s issue distributed before light hundreds of miles away is still boggling. They did that in the early part of the last century, and still do. That’s truly logistics coordination. It also brings up the significance of how communications have changed over two centuries.
Our forefathers were dependent on printed media for their information, even when it was days, weeks and months after something occurred. That changed with the telegraph, so stories could be spread nationwide instantly, and telephones speeded the process more.
Soon radio made information more publicly and broadly dispersed at the push of a button, if one had a radio and the broadcast signals reached there. It became even better, so to speak, with television, as pictures accompanied words. Next were facsimile machines that could publicly distribute the word, still using old telephone lines.
When mobile phones followed by internet came into public service, using radio and TV airwaves distribution techniques, communications changed at a more rapid pace then ever known to man. Now any news whatsoever is spread worldwide instantly.
Most interesting to us is that several of tomorrow morning’s front page stories can be read this afternoon on that newspaper’s website. What’s next for the communications industry would be impossible for us to predict, but at least it should always be alive.
One piece of news seems old, and it is forgotten by many. Yet, the most important message is always alive, despite its maturity. We must never bury Luke 12:40: “Be ye therefore ready for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.”