The Last Newspaper

September 22, 2008 at 8:02 pm (Introspective, Review) (, , , )

Newspapers have always had a romantic interest with me.  In high school, I was a bit of a news junkie and would read it everyday.  I told myself that once I was on my own, I would get a newspaper.  So I did.  I subscribed to the Sunday paper over a year ago.  Ever since then I’ve been awoken by the newspaper delivery person throwing it at my door at ~4am – 5am every Sunday morning.  I understand how much easier it is to deliver if one doesn’t need to climb the stairs to my 2nd story apartment.  The first time it happened I thought that something had crashed into the apartment building.  I called in complaint three times to the Seattle Times to no avail.  I told them to feel free to leave it at the bottom of the stairs.  Last Sunday, early in the morning I was awakened for the last time.  I called the newspaper and had it cancelled.  Although I will not regret being able to sleep in on Sunday mornings, I feel I will miss the newspaper.

What is so special about the Newspaper?

After much soul-searching, I think I know why I like the newspaper so much.  It was part of my family daily ritual.  My Dad used to read it every day.  My mom was a champion coupon clipper.  My extended family members would periodically appear therein.  I grew up in a wood stove home and the paper kept it warm.  The paper was intrinsically part of home/family life.

I think another part of it was that the Newspaper was part of the community of my youth.  I grew up in the small town of Yakima. It may not look like much but the Yakima Herald indeed was a “daily part of your life”.  Not only did it provide the news of the day, but it also kept you up to date on who was getting married, who had died, and all the other news of the area.  More often than not, people I knew wrote in for the “Letters to the Editor.”  Friends worked at the paper.  The paper helped support my High School sports teams and took on fellow students to write a weekly articles.  The Yakima Herald is part of the community that is Yakima. Subscribing to the newspaper, wasn’t only for the paper, but also helping support something that gave back to the community by chronicling it, providing jobs, and giving back itself.

My New “Paper”

Truth be told, I hadn’t been actually reading the Sunday paper.  My main reasons for keeping it was for the nostalgia detailed above.  I’ve turned to the Web as my news outlet.  For news I have Reuters and Google News.  For weddings and other gossip I have Facebook or Twitter.  I can read my friend blogs whether they be WordPress or LiveJournal through aggregators like my personal fav Google Reader.  Instead of supporting my physical community, I’m helping support my digital community by blogging and by contributing to sites like Yelp.  The Web is becoming my portal to the not only digital, but physical community.  As long as the Web doesn’t become my only portal to the outside world, I think this shift is fine.

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