Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pondering Newspapers

It is hard to believe the last day of March has only three more hours. Not only that, but it is hard to believe I have failed to make a single post on my blog this month. I’ve let myself down.

I’m feeling a little afraid today because of something I read on YAHOO several days ago: newspapers around the country are going out of business. It hurts to know that major papers are being thrown in the economic trash can.

I love newspapers. I read their ink covered pages everyday. I love the sound of my coins as they course their way through the lock of the news stand, the smell of the ink that rushes my nose, and the feel of the folded pages as I pull the paper out of the stand. Like you, of course, I always get the paper that is two or three down from the top. I’m not sure why I always feel like the paper on top has pages missing or something, but I do. Oh, and if I should be the one to take the last paper from the door of the stand, I always feel like I’ve won the lottery or something.

Everyone has their favorite way to read the paper. Some start with the Comics, some the Obituaries, and some the Sports page. My favorite way is to start at the beginning and read all the way to the end. Of course, I save the Classifieds and the advertising inserts until the very last. It’s just hard to believe these daily literary works of art are going away.

Even as I ponder the disappearance of the daily newspaper, I know I am a big part of the blame. Like so many others, I have found it more economical to go online and read the newspapers that I follow. It’s fast, it’s easy, and I can read papers from all over the nation and the world. Recently, I even started reading my local paper online.

Naturally, reading the paper online makes it hard to start at the beginning and read all the way through to the end. Online newspapers elicit a focused review of material: news, lifestyle, business, etc… There is no fluid transition from page to page. There is no serendipity of finding that hidden story on B3.

I have also contributed to the demise of our nation’s newspapers by using online classifieds. I am a registered user of eBay and CraigsList. I no longer search those little ads in the back of the paper, and I no longer advertise in print classified.

No wonder the papers are closing.

I wonder what we will have in the future. Will any newspaper survive? Will our grandchildren ever hear “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!”