(First, a short note of explanation. Once again, this blog went quiet for a while. The reason: Two friends, both exceptionally influential in my life, died during the past couple of months, and the sense of despair I felt was overwhelming. The energy to blog disappeared. Still, I know what that seems to say about the relative value of this kind of writing -- that it's utterly dispensable. Well, not utterly. I think it's worth something, and if I think that, it can't keep going on vacation. So starting now, I'll give it yet another whirl. And if I can't sustain it this time, then we'll all know that I should vacate the space permanently)
I'm going to pick up the thread of previous posts later this week or next. But I want to jump on a topic that's particularly timely:
The E3 video-game convention is in full swing in Los Angeles, and it's the perfect yardstick for judging whether your newspaper, wherever you live, has any chance left to be meaningful amid the wreckage of the news-on-paper industry. Unless your paper carries substantial daily coverage from E3, it has almost no chance of being relevant going forward. If it can't recognize the importance of E3 -- which is culturally, financially and technologically significant on a national scale -- it's never going to keep up with American life in the 21st century.
That sound like an amateurishly inflated statement? Then you're out of touch. Video games are pivotal in understanding how entertainment is influencing us. The companies behind them matter on Wall Street, and the money spent by consumers is telltale about family life. Perhaps most intriguingly, games are always on the cutting edge of technology. If your newspaper misses the E3 story, which percolates over several days, its news sense is probably hopelessly moribund.
I can't be at E3 as I used to be, but there are interesting windows on the convention I may want to comment on (the G4 cable network's coverage, for instance). In the meantime, watch your newspaper for signs that it's really trying to grapple with how news is shaped as of 2010 . . . or is completely adrift.