Thursday, December 22, 2011

Yes, I still read a newspaper every day

Every morning I follow essentially the same routine: I get up, I feed the cats, I go downstairs and clean out their litter boxes, and then I go outside and get the newspaper. Only one of these things truly makes me happy.

The getting up part I don't mind but I don't love. The cat-related jobs are necessary evils, the kind of thing you do because over the years it has become your job and there's no real need to change. But the newspaper...that's one of the highlights of my day.

Seriously. I love getting the paper. I love taking it out of the bag and scanning the headlines. No matter that the news may already be 12 hours old (or more) and I could have found the same information online soon after it happened. The point is, there's nothing like holding and reading a real newspaper.

I understand that I am a dying breed. Relatively few people read physical, hard-copy newspapers anymore. And in no way am I a technophobe. I still get a lot of my news online. But you have to understand, I started my career in a newsroom. Night after night, I got the thrill of producing a publication that would be distributed to thousands of people within hours after we finished it. It was a rush.

Of course this was back in the 80's and 90's. Even then people were predicting the downfall of print journalism,  but I wanted to make a career out of being a sports writer. I loved covering a game, writing about it, and knowing that my work was being read at breakfast tables around the area the next morning. Or would end up being pasted into some kid's high school scrapbook. That was a natural high.

In time, I realized that a career in journalism wasn't to be. I had a growing family to support, and honestly, you ain't gonna get rich as a newspaper reporter. So I eventually moved into marketing and public relations, a move a lot of reporters make when they decide it's time to get a "real" job, for whatever reason.

But I hang on to my newspaper addiction. The paper shows up every day, rain or shine, in front of my house, and I read it cover to cover. I still read the comics and do the little word puzzle that runs next to them when I have time. I scour the sports pages, especially, but I also read every story in the metro and business sections to make sure I haven't missed anything work-related.

There will come a time in the not-so-distant future when newspapers will go away, and I'm actually OK with that. I know it's unstoppable, and progress is progress. But I think back to the days when I delivered the Lake County News-Herald and practically every house along my route got the paper at least on Sundays, if not every day.

Nowadays, the paper is delivered by adults with huge routes and hundreds of customers. The routes HAVE to be huge, because the vast majority of houses don't subscribe any more. I used to ride my bike and place the paper inside people's front doors or in their side milk chutes. Now it's thrown from moving cars, though sometimes (as in our case) you can ask for a delivery tube to be placed in front of your house and the paper will be stuffed in there every morning.

This is the second nostalgic blog post in two days, if you're keeping track. I guess that's another sign of advancing age -- when you start talking about the "old" days. But I'll tell you one thing: If reading a newspaper is a sign of old fogey-hood, you can book my ticket on the Geezer Bus today.


  1. Are you like a person in a movie goin' outside early mornin' in a robe whistling some happy tune (in this case I guess it would be a Christmas song) waving to the neighbors a "good morning". Them come back inside and read it with a cup of coffee, wife comes in and says "good morning honey" and you two are happy as happy can be.
    Then the kids walk in.

  2. My husband and I love our newspaper too! We read it every morning with breakfast.
    We also have i Phones, laptops, desk computers, e-readers and satellite TV but love reading the newspaper the best!
    When we are on vacation we miss the real paper in our hands with our coffee!
    Long live real newspapers!!

  3. I'm stopping my paper when the subscription runs out. They've priced themselves out of what I'm willing to pay. They're raising the 3 month rate from $39 to $55. EEEEK!
    Carol D4d

  4. Carol - Understood, though I guess I look at it this way: $55 for three months comes out to around 60 cents a day for just about all of the general news, weather and sports information I need, plus a nice dose of entertainment from the comics, puzzles, etc. That's a price point I can live with, but that may just be me!

  5. I will never concede that newspapers are obsolete, no matter how much evidence I encounter. Shittier than ever, perhaps. But not obsolete. I love reading my paper. I love reading other cities' papers. There is no replacement.

  6. "Or would end up being pasted into some kid's high school scrapbook" this gives me goosebumps! So very cool!!

  7. This is so Bret! Although not a "morning" reader, he avidly seeks the paper after tea and goes to his "man-cave" aka "the couch" and reads it from cover to cover. Loves it!

  8. I love the fact that a couch can double as a man cave! Merry Christmas to you and all of our friends in Oz, Kerri.