The San Francisco Chronicle trotted out a snazzy, retooled anachronism Monday morning. Now all the editors need is Doc Brown's super-pimped DeLorean to take them back to 1955:
One hundred forty-four years after two teenage brothers in San Francisco founded The Chronicle with a $20 gold piece borrowed from their landlord, The Voice of the West is about to embark on a bold new era that could provide a model for how daily newspapers can thrive in today's market.AT LEAST the dinosaurs had an asteroid strike to blame for their demise. Today's newspaper editors would like you to think the Internet is their asteroid . . . as they try to convince themselves that one harebrained scheme or another might yet turn away their date with doom.
Beginning today, the newspaper will be printed using full-color presses and acquire some of the characteristics of a daily magazine - a showcase for the dramatic use of sharp, crisp photographs, graphics and advertisements. The new presses will have the capability to run color images on most every page, including section fronts.
"This will be eye opening for a lot of people," said publisher Frank J. Vega. "It's going to give us a lot more vibrancy and flexibility in what we do. We're calling it high-definition newspaper. It's going to be much more visually pleasing."
The Chronicle, which has run its own presses since the 1800s, has long been plagued by poor color reproduction and annoying creases. Its current presses are more than 50 years old. Its photographers and artists carp about the paper's muddy appearance.
With state-of-the-art presses and a vivid page design, the newspaper's top editors say they are committed to producing a paper that can compete effectively against the imagery of the Internet, glossy magazines and television - or anything else that impinges on a potential reader's valuable time.
Alas, there's no asteroid for publishers and editors to hide behind. This extinction is totally self-inflicted -- mainly due to the arrogance of an industry that thought time would wait for these men . . . and women.
This die-off is due to the stupidity of an industry that saw the handwriting on the wall a generation ago but thought that living in abject denial can make things not be so, thus making difficult change unnecessary.
There's one more area where the Daily T Rex departs from its reptilian ancestors: Today's dinosaurs, as exemplified so perfectly by the Chronicle, didn't even wait to die before turning into a bunch of fossils.
HAT TIP: The Media Is Dying.