By: Kristina Ackermann
Today’s journalism students catch a lot of flak from the older generation of reporters, perhaps rightly so. After all, these youngsters learned how to use smartphones before they learned how to drive. For them, it has always been easy to Ctrl+Z away a poorly phrased sentence, or adjust an overexposed photo in Photoshop.
So perhaps it was with a smidge of maliciousness that Michael Koretzky, volunteer adviser for the student newspaper at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, instructed his students to power down their iMacs and get their hands dirty by making a newspaper the old-fashioned way.
Koretzky’s blog at Journoterrorist.com describes the amusing challenges the students faced, from setting the margins on their typewriters to turning a men’s room into a makeshift darkroom for developing photos. They even learned that cutting and pasting actually used to involve knives and rubber cement.
At the end of the experiment, the University Press put out an entire retro-themed issue using only pre-computer technology. The project, called All On Paper, was funded by a grant from the Society of Professional Journalists (Koretzky is president of the South Florida chapter). On Koretzky’s blog, UP editor-in-chief Gideon Grudo concluded, “After looking at a finished page — a page that took us half a day to finish — we felt so content and satisfied. I’ll compare it to the difference between buying a McNugget and hunting down your own chicken, gutting it, deboning it, and cutting it into nuggets.”