How did I discover it, you ask? I searched on the word “vine” to download Twitter’s new video app. Near as I can tell, Nude Man swings on a vine to escape the alligators, but I wasn’t about to download the app to explore the bizarro world created by the developer.
The bad news for Twitter is that its Vine app doesn’t appear in the iPhone store until after Nude Man and a handful of other apps that include “vine” in either the title or the app itself.
Filed under: Business and Culture and Technology
Seventeen years ago when my wife and I moved to Manassas, Va., this ink-stained wretch found himself in the heart of a newspaper boom town. With a population of less than 35,000 at the time, Manassas was the target audience of three local daily newspapers, the Manassas Journal Messenger, Potomac News and Prince William Journal. The Washington Post also had a small local bureau in the city.
The Internet revolution was in its infancy then, but as the news editor of Congressional Quarterly’s BillWatch legislative database, I had transitioned into the digital space and was an early convert to the gospel of digital media. I wanted to believe that daily print newspapers had a future but was skeptical. The move to Manassas gave me hope.
My hope for daily newspapers, at least as we old-timers know them in newsprint, died on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. That was the last day of publication for the News & Messenger, the product of an Oct. 13, 2008, merger between the Journal Messenger and Potomac News.
World Media Enterprises, owned by Warren Buffet, who has been buying newspapers across America for two years, blamed the demise of the News & Messenger on bad business conditions. “We do not see a long-term viable way to maintain a daily news operation here,” the company said upon announcing the decision in mid-November.
So Manassas is starting the New Year without its own daily newspaper, ending an era that dates to at least 1869 when the Journal Messenger started publishing.
“We can only hope that the existing papers among us ratchet up their daily coverage of our community in our sudden absence,” the News & Messenger said in its farewell editorial.
My friend Mark Tapscott, who once served as editor of the Prince William Journal and who now serves as executive editor of the Washington Examiner that absorbed the Journal Newspapers in 2004, shared his thoughts with me on the closing of the News & Messenger. “The biggest puzzler here,” he said, “is how a county of 400,000 people doesn’t have sufficient demand to support at least one newspaper or website devoted to local news.”
The good news is that we may. While we in Manassas won’t have our own daily newspaper anymore, the larger Prince William County will have two weekly newspapers and two websites covering local news in the future.
Filed under: Advertising and Business and History and Media and News & Politics and Social Media