It’s Christmas Eve and I wake to discover the big story this morning is Newsweek’s use of a hashtag to signal it’s last print cover. Really? Is this what real journalism has turned into? And the world wonders why the print edition of Newsweek has come to an end?
For years, print journalists marked the end of their stories with -30- or another dingbat to signal to copy boys and editors that the story was finished. Sometimes this was marked with a symbol now known in the Twitterverse as a “hashtag.”
I think Tina Brown should be applauded not sneered at for her realistic and brave cover. She not only realizes that social media has killed true journalism, but she recognizes it and is embracing her new electronic reality.
The hashtag, as used on Newsweek, signals a farewell to the great tradition of print journalism, when real news with vetted sources made a difference. It says hello to the brave new world we live in now where news is discovered in tweets, real journalists quote their tweeps and the masses don’t seem to care. Oh, give me the days for my old Royal typewriter.