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The Independent Critic

Greg Bluestein, Richard Halicks, Mark Walligore, Erica Hernandez, Janay Kingsberry
James Kicklighter
28 Mins.

 "Digital Edition" Follows the Changing World of Journalism 
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James Kicklighter's 28-minute documentary Digital Edition approaches a subject that is near and dear to anyone who works in or is around the world of journalism - the changing world of journalism and, in particular, the massive changes in how the print industry is dealing with the digital age with all its benefits, demands and challenges.

Kicklighter largely focuses his camera on the revered Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the only major daily newspaper in metropolitan Atlanta and a newspaper whose writers have won multiple Pulitzer Prizes. Taking an approach that may not completely resonate with those fiercely devoted to print journalism, Digital Edition largely addresses the Journal-Constitution's utilization of new media and new media tools as they prepare for what feels like the end of print media.

Will print media really end? It's hard to say, though it's not hard to say that the immediacy offered by the digital age is impossible to ignore as a worldwide audience demands more and more news as quickly as possible.

Kicklighter interviews a number of writers and editorial leaders who share both journalistic history and their experiences in dealing with the digital age. While those in journalism may not find much of the information particularly revelatory, newbies and non-journalists will likely be captivated by Kicklighter's weaving together of the past and present of journalism.

As an old school writer myself, I've often lamented what feels like sloppiness and impulsivity in the digital age, a time when you can barely read a news article without finding numerous typos and a time when more and more of what passes for "trending news" is merely nothing more than a digital popularity contest. Yet, Digital Edition does a nice job of reminding us that there's much good to be found in developing and utilizing new ways to follow the news and getting it all to a wider audience.

Is it possible it could all peacefully co-exist?

Again, it's impossible to say.

Filled with a surprising amount of content for a 28-minute film along with nicely done graphics that balance out the interviews, Digital Edition is an entertaining and informative short doc that will likely resonate most with those who consider themselves to be information geeks and journalistic connoisseurs. For more information on the film, visit Kicklighter's website linked to in the credits for this review.

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic