I’ve done it! I’ve gotten myself a computer and a printer—those “technojournalistic” wonders, which represent the third communications revolution that I have lived through.
Recording machines spawned the first. It began with wire recorders. I could save five hours recording “first drafts” orally instead of copying them—slowly and painstakingly—by pencil or pen. Of course, you then lost three of those hours (not to mention all of your patience) in the tedious job of untangling the snares that constantly beset this particular editorial convenience. Still, it was then that I made the momentous decision never to type again.
Photocopy machines, installed in every library and business office, marked the onset of a second revolution. “Xeroxing” transformed my methods of collecting data—although pocketsful of nickels gave my trousers an unprofessional baggy look.
There was no more laborious hand copying of notes and quotes from magazines, journals, and books! Even pictures and charts could be instantaneously recorded. Moreover, I could now have multiple copies of all my originals: Oh, the joy for students and unsuspecting editors!
And now comes this third revolution, complete with computers and word processors that spell, footnote, and print almost instantly.
It all sounds great. And it is. But at least for this editorial writer, there is more to getting copy down on paper than cassette recorders, a good copier, and so many megabytes.
Take writing editorials for CHRISTIANITY TODAY.
My hardest job is getting ideas—that is, ideas that are of interest to anyone besides myself and that deal with significant topics I know something about. I keep a folder of ideas constantly by my bedside and a pack of three-by-five cards in my vest pocket (for ...1
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