Friday, March 27, 2009

The Death of Print Newspaper
Cut and paste this url into your browser and follow the debate regarding the future of the print version of the Oregonian and my response below. If you have an opinion on the topic it join the site for free and post it.

"I was just riding my bike and saw no lack of paper racks with current papers in them. Online news, while expedient and faster can never top the visceral feel and quality and content of a hard print newspaper. The pictures are better the stories are copywrighted so you don't find nearly the amount of typos and text errors you find on the web versions. Think for a moment of the smell of a freshly minted paper. It is only surpassed by the strong ammonia smell of a mimeograph machine.

You guys might be too young to remember the mimeograph. It produced pages with blue text. Usually something your teacher copied or wrote for distribution. But I digress, newspapers have many uses once they are read and the highlight section is clipped for your scrapbook. They are good for soaking up spills, wrapping your fragile dishes when you move. Lighting the barbecue in one of those charcoal chimneys that don't require fluid.

I have also been told that the pages are sterile coming off the press so they could work as an emergency bandage. Although its a hassle to recycle them. I think the benefits outweigh the negatives. As previously stated, the competitive papers did themselves in by offering all the content online for free. Question is do they really offer all of the content? One might take a day to compare.

Newspapers make revenue off of subscribers and paid advertisement. The cost of the ad is directly proportionate to the readership. Meaning an ad in the New York Times probably cost more than an ad in the local throw away paper here called the Acorn. So if you support print news, subscribe and take out ads. If you support print news and do neither, then you really aren't in support are you. I mean this in the nicest way folks. Just give it a thought.

I propose that we all support our local print newspapers and glean the out of town stuff for free off the net. Newspapers have a place in our society and our history and I would hate to see them go the way of the dodo. I had a hard drive go bad with no back up and lost many links to articles about my daughter that I should have printed out or backed up to disk. My bad.

How cool is it to find an old box packed with newspapers from the thirties or even the 70's. You get a little glimpse into the past that never makes it into any history book. We are in such a hurry to get the news out first the quality of the writing and reporting is suffering. I like hearing about things live and watching the Ytube link as much as anyone but I just don't see how it can totally replace the newspaper experience(/soapbox)

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