A Lady Reading a Newspaper
There was an interesting article by Jack Cafferty yesterday on CNN. He asked, "Would you notice if your daily newspaper disappeared?" At first, I thought, no I would not notice, and I would not care. I can get up in the morning, click onto any news outlet, including CNN, and get the up-to-date news, complete with videos and editorial comments, whenver I want. And of course there are the blogs...
And then Cafferty pointed out something interesting. ... News isn’t just a product; in a democracy, the press exists to investigate and criticize the government.
Well, okay, but that's not why most people read newspapers. We read newspapers to be informed, entertained and occasionally challenged. And the question is, with so many of us being accustomed to being online every day, are newspapers relevant anymore? And with the advent of Amazon Kindle, is the written word on paper becoming obsolete? The Kindle was initially designed for reading newspapers and texbooks. I still have mixed feelings about Kindle -- I love curling up with a good book, and falling asleep... Somehow that just would not be the same with a Kindle.
There was a time when I would go through actual withdrawal if I did not have my daily newspaper. The paper was delivered early in the morning, and I would read it when I was having my morning coffee. If the paper was not there on time, I was completely discombobulated and out-of-sorts for the rest of the day. I grew up in a home where we had three newspapers every day, and we read them from front to back. They were a source of information for everything -- news, current events, social events, entertainment, business, sports, finance op-ed, our favorite columnists, and even recipes. I still have some dog-earred recipes that my mother clipped from the newspapers. And if we wanted to know if "old-lady Rafferty" down the street was still alive, we would check the obits every day.
And then a few years ago something strange happened. I installed a home computer, and I found myself referring to my computer for everything, and my newspaper lay untouched and unopened on my coffee table. After about a week's collection of them piled up, they would go into the recycling bin. This would go on week after week until finally I did not renew my subscription.
What on earth was going on? I didn't understand it. I was bored, and my love affair with the newspaper was over. I just couldn't seem to re-Kindle (pun intended) any feelings for it. I try, but they're just not there. I still love books and magazines, however, and I could not be without my weekly New Yorker magazine. But newspapers somehow seem so -- 20th Century. Has anyone else felt this way about newspapers, or is it just me?