Saturday, July 11, 2009

Are newspapers dead?

Do you still read a newspaper (an actual tree-based newspaper with ink)? I read my local newspaper (The Mail Tribune) everyday. I skip some of the local articles, especially if they involve fishing or boating or anything OryGun-ish. I also read other newspapers occasionally at the coffee shop (and a variety of papers online, but those don't count for this inquiry).

I am often disappointed by the local paper and not just because it focuses more on made-up Ashland controversies and local business men (always men, by the way) than stories from Africa, Israel, Iran, the Soviet Union, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgzstan and all the other stans. I'm also disappointed because I find myself checking the top right corner for a clock (I'm a Mac user) or sometimes the bottom right corner (I use a PC too), and there's no clock! I also am just dying to click on words I don't recognize to get a definition. And why isn't Google reachable from the newspaper? Once a photo in the newspaper happened to include a little triangle and I tried to tap it to start the video! Alas, I fear that I will soon live entirely in the virtual world and won't understand anachronisms like tree-based delivery mechanisms for news and entertainment. How about the rest of you? Dear readers, do you read a newspaper? Thanks for commenting.


  1. The few times a year I read a newspaper, it's because I'm in a waiting room or on a bus that has one, and I didn't bring that week's New Yorker with me (and there isn't one in the waiting room or on the bus).

    But I read lots and lots of newspapers online. The New York Times and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, though less and less of the Strib these days. I also, when I have time, read The Christian Science Monitor.

    Like you, I find the news filled with straight white men disheartening.

    The only thing I still regularly read on paper is The New Yorker.

  2. We let our Tidings (even more local than the Mail Trib) subscription expire a couple of weeks ago. We now have both the Tidings and Mail Trib RSS feeds bookmarked and read them regularly. I don't get all my news for free, though, I have a subscription to which gives me ad-free content from them including a pretty extensive AP feed for basic news stories.

    I know what you mean about wanting to click on words - its just as bad for books! (except for my eReader ebooks on the iPhone). Another thing I do while scanning a long article is when I miss the first reference to a person I can search it ("Rafsenjaffer said? Who is Rasfsenjaffer?" cmd-E, cmd-shift-G).

    My remaining print periodicals are NewScientist, Wired, and MacTech. Oh, and Sneak Previews!

  3. I have a subscription to the New York Times. My husband reads the Sunday paper if he's home. I read the Monday paper faithfully (for the Metropolitan Diary and the puzzle), the Tuesday paper faithfully (for the science news and the puzzle), and the Wednesday paper faithfully (for the food section and the puzzle). Other days are hit or miss.

    I also usually scan our local Berkeley paper that gets delivered free.

    And why do I prefer the version that kills trees? Well, I can carry it with me wherever I go -- the bus, the bathroom, etc. -- and I can clip and save interesting articles ( have been known to send interesting articles to the blogmaster of this site, in fact).

    When I lived in Boston I didn't get home delivery of any paper, but since I was still commuting to work in those days I often bought a paper at the subway station. I usually bought the Herald (Boston's low-brow paper) because of it's coverage of local issues, and then also read the Times for national and international news.

    I also subscribe to Strings magazine (hey, I'm a violinist) and Vogue. Hmm, Vogue on-line? No thanks! It wouldn't be the same without the delicious heft of the glossy paper!

  4. And the results of my unscientific poll...

    There were 10 respondents and 1/2 said they read a daily newspaper! 3 said they read a daily newspaper a few times per month and 2 said a few times per year.