communities, suburban and virtual, then and now

Rick, my blogosphere friend and neighboring librarian (I live one suburb over from the Thomas Ford Memorial Library) has a wonderful post about reading through old local newspapers on microfilm.

I sometimes hear that people today feel a little threatened by the amount of personal information on the Internet. In 1956 there was a tremendous amount of such information in the weekly newspaper. Of course, there were announcements of births, engagements, marriages, and deaths, as you might find in today’s paper, but to a greater degree. One wedding story listed everyone who came. . . .

How did the Citizen get so much news? Did it have a large team of reporters? I think the answer to the last question is “no” and “yes.” No, the newspaper did not have many reporters on its payroll. Yes, many people in the community called the newspaper with every bit of news they had. They participated in the making of the newspaper. It really belonged spiritually to the community.

It sounds kind of like the blogosphere, does it not? Or like a suburban Wikipedia–if you can imagine subversive gardening in the suburbs.

One thought on “communities, suburban and virtual, then and now”

  1. Laura,

    Thanks for reading. That is exactly the point I wish to make, as well as display the wealth of information in the old newspapers. Production values of the local papers may be better today, but there is much less there.


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