The view from out there

Mike Wallace is a correspondent for 60 Minutes . We asked him how the advent of the Internet has affected life at the venerable CBS newsmagazine.

I was computer illiterate until two or three years ago, and I'm only moderately computer literate today. I use it mainly for E-mail, to check stocks, and to read updates of the New York Times and the Washington Post, and occasionally for research. I don't have a computer at my home, although I do have one at our summer place.

A while back Morley Safer decided that he was going to learn how to use a computer, so he hired a tutor to come in before 9 every day and he paid for it up front -- $3,000, I believe it was. About four weeks after he started, I got in here early one day and found Safer throwing all that stuff out the door of his office.

Steve Croft, Leslie Stahl, and all the producers here, all of whom are younger, use their computers and the Internet a lot, and they did before they came here. I dunno about Bradley. Executive producer Don Hewitt uses a computer to write speeches.

I was going to do a piece about an Internet start-up's initial public offering -- a couple of young guys, interesting, ambitious guys. We were going to follow them with cameras as they did their fund-raising tour of the West Coast. But then the money people who were advising them said no. It turned out that their IPO did poorly. Have we sought an alternative? No.

Just yesterday my assistant told us that somebody was buying our names for Web sites and asked what we were we going to do about it. I said, "What? What can we do about it?"

It's just not something that we think about very much. And it sure the dickens hasn't hurt us. -- From an interview with D.M. Osborne

For more insight on the current state of small business, see The View From Out There.

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