Hangman with Eddie

Ad libs or whole-word hangman, whichever game you prefer, try to fill in the blanks below.

“____ was not only giving the news but examining events as they occurred, with a speed and immediacy unmatched by any other medium.”

“____ crosses boundaries and fortunately or unfortunately there is no one there to inspect the contents of its luggage.”

_____ has ” ‘enormous power. . . but it has no character. . . It reflects the hatreds, the jealousies and ambitions of those men and governments that control it.’ ”

Answer: radio.

I’m in the midst of A.M. Sperber’s 700-page brick that chronicles the life of one Egbert Roscoe Murrow, formally; Edward R. Murrow to the history books and generations of journalists in his wake.

Radio was the medium of curiosity in Murrow’s time, and he was one of several figures who helped coax radio into the powerhouse it became.

Those spaces could be filled with “the Internet.”

We’re not through two decades of the Internet era. Twitter was founded five years ago, Facebook seven.

Unfathomable changes have occurred since the worldwide network’s inception, and more are in the pipeline in the next five to ten years. But it’s important to remember that this medium is young in the context of language and the written word.

This way to the Internet

Publications around the country are locked in a struggle between print and web material: what goes where, should we charge, how do we integrate? These questions might be answered in the next decade.

Even if they aren’t, we must remember to forget our need-solutions-right-now tendencies.

Adversities we face in regards to online content won’t be solved in a tweet or in the time it takes to Google “problems.” We shouldn’t despair, nor should we put forth less effort.

My advisor and mentor, Alan Sivell, gave me Murrow’s biography for graduation a year ago and told me to read it. Technological themes in the book are relevant now and will continue to be relevant as we cope with the potential of the web. I trust him, don’t you?

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