The Times they aren’t a changin’

The Times they aren’t a changin’
: The New York Times pens a luddite editorial today decrying the spread of camera phones:

Now, among the many unnecessary features cluttering the new mobile phones are small digital cameras…. The ads suggest that the purpose of putting cameras in cellphones is to take photos and share them immediately by sending them over the airwaves to friends and relatives. But the real purpose is to sell minutes on your wireless service. Although no one really wants the return of the wall-tethered rotary-dial black Bell, there is something to be said for the days when a cellphone was just a cellphone.

Jeesh, and you call yourselves journalists.

Camera phones are, in fact, good for taking pictures of family and such and sending them to friends. Note the social trend, folks; they’re selling well for a reason; it’s the will of the marketplace.

But camera phones will also have an important impact on journalism as witnesses everywhere will be able to document what happens in front of their eyes. These pictures will better record news. They will find their way into newspapers. They will improve and broaden the witness of news. That is good for journalism.

Somebody go down the hall to the Times editorial board and turn over their calendar to 2003.

: They were inspired, no doubt, by this Times story about Chicago trying to ban camera phones in certain venues. TechDirt says — wiser than The Times — that this is going too far. Can we say, “freedom of speech?”