Technology vs. Newspapers

Molly Wood, an executive editor and on-camera personality at, recently wrote about the fate of newspapers at Women on the Web. Here are her thoughts:

The news about newspapers has been unavoidable in the past few weeks, with stories on everything from the insane cost of printing and publishing some newspapers to the extremely imminent death of others.

As someone who went from journalism school to a wire service to a website, I can’t help but feel slightly culpable — but I also feel protective of newspapers and the services they can provide to a community and a country. Some would argue, as my colleague Tom Merritt does in this week’s Buzz Report video, that the Internet is merely a delivery mechanism that doesn’t have to fundamentally change the way reporting and writing are carried out.

Sometimes, I think that’s true — there is amazing journalism happening on the Web, here at, at Salon, at Huffington Post, at CNET, at Perez Hilton (OK, just kidding). On the other hand, blogs are easy to start and even easier to abandon, and the institution of a newsroom can provide air cover for deep digging that isn’t necessarily available at every online publication, as well as the legitimacy that gets you access to the really good sources. I hope we can see the difference between publishing technology and the intellectual pursuit of journalism as we cast aside our newspapers for netbooks and Kindles (guilty as charged).

And in other news this week, I hope that a new Apple netbook, should it appear in the near future, be a whole lot better than the new Shuffle they just announced.

Liz Smith

Well, if this isn’t a sign of how much is changing in our media world, after 33 years with the New York Post, legendary gossip columnist Liz Smith has been let go.  The New York Post is dropping her column, citing hard times. Smith, who turned 86 on February 2nd, is not one to let grass grow. She is heading over to the website she helped launch, The Women on the Web, or WowOWow! Joni Evans wrote on WowOWow about Liz’s departure from the NYPost and her full time arrival to the Wow site.

This sad news for the New York print business is spectacular news for us. Our fabulous and beloved Diva of Dish will be here on wowOwow, posting exclusive-to-Liz breaking celebrity news as it happens. It will, occasionally, be highlighted with audio and film and all the tools of an Internet entrepreneur.

The New York Post editor-in-chief Col Allen has written to Liz to say, “Like so many other newspapers around the country, we are buffeted by unprecedented economic gales” and could not renew the contract for what he described as a “legendary column.”