Punch Sulzberger, 1994: Wandering a Country Road to the Fishing Hole

Worth reading: a 1994 speech by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, courtesy of JimmyCsays, in which Sulzberger describes The Times‘ approach to emerging technologies.

In so doing, he gives the “information superhighway” metaphor quite a workout. Also there are many animal jokes.


“I believe that for a long time to come this information superhighway, far from resembling a modern interstate, will more likely approach a roadway in India: chaotic, crowded and swarming with cows. Or, as one might say, udder confusion….

“Like young bucks we had felt a springtime urge to participate in the new information-based explosion. Like others, we were fearful of seeing competitors speeding down the information superhighway as we were left stranded on a service road….

“Judgment, serendipity and something left over to wrap the fish, all neatly folded, in living color, and thrown at no extra cost into the bushes. All for just a few cents a day. It’s called a newspaper. And when you add a wee bit of ink for your hands and top it with a snappy editorial to exercise your blood pressure, who needs that elusive interactive information superhighway of communications.

“Just point me to the fishing hole! Thank you.”

Of course, we would be remiss not to mention that Arthur Jr. was much Web savvier, and got The Times‘ site built out early. The young bucks may have been onto something.

Punch Sulzberger, 1994: Wandering a Country Road to the Fishing Hole