Typewriters, TT And The Home Folks

Fellow artsjournal.com blogger, indefatigable all-purpose arts critic and small-town New Yorker Terry Teachout is visiting home, down where Missouri meets Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky. He customarily refers to it as Small Town USA, but by giving us a link to the hometown paper, he’s blown the town’s cover. Tourists will be piling in there by the busload, hoping for a glimpse of his birthplace. Terry is giving a speech there, and the local paper interviewed him in advance.

Teachout noted he wrote his first story for publication for the Sikeston High School newspaper, Bulldog Barker, and plans to talk Tuesday about how the world of journalism has changed, especially by the Internet and new media, since he began writing,
“When I started doing this, I wrote on a manual typewriter. Nobody had a computer,” Teachout said.

You can read the whole story here.
TT’s mention of typewriters recalled my typewriter story from the same period. In 1975, I had just taken over the news department of KSAT-TV in San Antonio. We were drastically underequipped and misequipped. When I wrote my first budget, I put in for ten IBM electric typewriters to replace the broken-down manuals the reporters battled every day. The general manager supported me, but the president of the broadcasting company went through the roof. “A bunch of journalists don’t need that fancy equipment,” he said. “They’d just break it.”
Such was the speed of the electronic revolution in TV that within a couple of years, film was out, tape was in, the reporters went from manual typewriters to computers and were doing live reports from the field by microwave.

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