Can U Read & Rite?
"As teenagers' scores on standardized reading tests have declined or stagnated, some argue that the hours spent prowling the Internet are the enemy of reading-diminishing literacy, wrecking attention spans and destroying a precious common culture that exists only through the reading of books," writes Motoko Rich in The New York Times. "But others say the Internet has created a new kind of reading, one that schools and society should not discount."
I believe this so-called "new kind of reading" is the result of the old kind of writing, which has become really bad.
I'm talking about the writing in mainstream media-newspapers, magazines and books-whose managements are so financially strapped that they can't afford decent editors. The result: Authors left to themselves are sloppy, self-indulgent and frequently boring as dirt.
This is also true of writing on the Internet and BlackBerrys/other mobile devices.
Monday Morning's Newspapers
I subscribe to and read three newspapers a day: The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. This reading is in addition to the 15 Web sites I hit every morning to vacuum up stories that might be of interest in future editions of this e-zine, plus the dozen or more Web sites I visit when researching a story.
Two major subject areas in my archive: airlines and newspapers. So here were two stories from Monday morning that I marked for downloading and inclusion in my files:
Winging It: ‘Al a carte' pricing is stirring up disputes
Whew! As we wrapped up a raft of grim, pessimistic reports last month on the airlines' second-quarter losses, I thought the flow of news might slow down. But just as many of you were packing to fly off on vacation, last week produced a succession of events-some bad, some not so bad-for travelers to contemplate. So today, I'm going to round up some of the most recent developments and put a hopeful spin on them where I can.
-Tom Beldon, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Aug. 3, 2008