diamond geezer

 Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I still buy a newspaper every morning. I've been doing it since the 1980s, and I haven't stopped yet.
I also read my newspaper's website every day. I've been doing that since the 1990s, and I haven't stopped yet.

I still buy a newspaper every morning. I like to read a daily digest of what's going on in the world. I like the mix of articles, from headline political news to obscure quirky features. I like the idea that somebody independent has sifted through the day's events and decided what I do and don't need to know. I know that news happens all the time, not just once a day, but I value my daily snapshot.
I also read my newspaper's website every day. I like to read about things that have only just happened, rather than having to wait until tomorrow. I like the chance to drill down into areas of interest, and not to have to waste time on topics that bore me. I know I'm only skimming the river of news when I read online, but I value the immediacy.

I still buy a newspaper every morning. I value the linearity. I like to start at the front and work through to the end. I may not want to read everything on the way, and I may skip over a lot, but equally I know I won't miss out on something unexpected.
I also read my newspaper's website every day. I scan the front page for interesting additions, then read only the latest articles that interest me. I read more narrowly than in print, rarely dipping outside my comfort zone.

I still buy a newspaper every morning. I buy one from the kiosk outside the tube station. I give the owner my small change and I help to keep him in business. And he gives some of my small change to the publishers, and this helps to keep them in business. Because printed news costs, and I'm happy to pay.
I also read my newspaper's website every day. I read it for free, and give absolutely nothing back. I never click on any of the adverts, and I'm not sure I'd subscribe to the paper if it ever disappeared behind a paywall. Because news on the web should always be free, shouldn't it?

I still buy a newspaper every morning. I like the physical nature of printed sheets. I like to be able to see a lot of news all at the same time, rather than a thin column of one-story text. I appreciate double page spreads, and seeing photographs large, and being able to write on the crossword with a pencil. My newspaper doesn't lose coverage when the signal drops in a train tunnel, and the previous page is always there when I want to flick quickly back. If there's a particularly special day I can even keep the newspaper and store it somewhere, then read it again on some far distant day in the future to remember what life used to be like.
I also read my newspaper's website every day. I may have to click through to read the individual stories, but I can focus on individual articles with ease. I can flick through picture galleries, I can read reader comments written by bigoted idiots, and I can even give instant feedback myself should I so wish. If there's a story I want to bring to someone else's attention, social media makes that easy. And if I want to find a story from six years ago, it's easily unearthed from the archive.

I still buy a newspaper every morning. I have to leave the house to buy it, and I'm fortunate there are still several paper-selling outlets within a few minutes walk. Sometimes I get home at the end of the day and I haven't managed to open it, but that's OK because I can read it later. Or just chuck it into the recycling because its moment has passed.
I also read my newspaper's website every day. I can even read it in my dressing gown at the weekend if I can't be bothered to go out. Or from the other side of the world if I'm on holiday. Or from anywhere I liked if only I had a smartphone. News on demand, wherever, whenever. That's the future.

I still buy a newspaper every morning. I know how out-of-touch that makes me look in the eyes of the younger generation. They never will. "Pay for news, on paper? Get with the programme, Grandad."
I also read my newspaper's website every day. I appreciate the all-day every-day convenience it brings. But I won't take the plunge and abandon print altogether, not until I have absolutely no choice.

I still buy a newspaper every morning. I fear I'm an endangered species.


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