I believe in newspapers

Joan - Sautee, Georgia
Entered on May 7, 2008
Age Group: 65+

I believe in newspapers. I believe in the written word. I believe in print.

My day begins in earnest when I sit down to breakfast with the newspaper on my left and my coffee on the right. I’ve already heard the early reports on the radio. It gives me a good idea of what happened overnight, but it’s just a teaser, a first course, not the full meal, not the kind of news I can digest and file away for future use.

I have a great need to underline and clip, maybe even copy a column from the opinion page and enclose it in a letter to a friend or send it to my representative in Congress. You can’t do that with the electronic media. You can’t turn to your husband and say, “Hey! Take a look at this!” You can’t save the story for later referral. For that you need a newspaper.

When I travel, the first thing I do is pick up the local publication. If you want to know what small town people are thinking, get the county paper. Same thing in a city. If you want to understand New York, get the New York Times.

Read the opinion page. Read the letters-to-the-editor. Write back. You can have a dialogue with a newspaper.

The big papers, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, are the nation’s heavy weights, but coast to coast and word for word, more people read the local country paper. If you are passionate about anything from politics to gardening, you’ll find it there, and your chances of getting your opinion aired are better in a local publication than in the big papers.

Granted, a newspaper takes a little bigger bite out of your day. It’s O.K. Their worth it. What you see or hear is ephemeral, but what you read in the newspaper can be reread, thought about and digested.

Granted, newspapers accumulate and must be disposed of responsibility. Our family reads several different papers, and they mount up; but almost every country has a recycle program. For a while I had an even more immediate way of disposing of them. I bound them up tightly and put them outside to weather. After a while they became wet and very solid. I used them to terrace the yard.

Yep, That’s where I stand. I believe in newspapers.