Posted by: Brad Nixon | May 28, 2017

Morning Paper: Where Worlds Collide

There are two types of readers: those who prefer to read a printed page and those who would rather read information on an electronic display.

I never tire of this subject, especially regarding newspapers.

I’m a lifelong newspaper fan, and I still relish picking up the local newspaper in airports, bookstores, gas stations and restaurants. There’s nothing more appealing than a well-stocked news stand.

newsstand Marcy Vincent 3516 (480x640)

I’m fascinated, even in a country where I can’t actually read any of them.

China Shanghai newsstand Brad Nixon 25 (640x480)

That was in Shanghai, China. The next time I pass through Socorro, New Mexico, I’ll see what’s in the pages of the local publication, which has one of the best names of any American paper: The El Defensor Chieftain. If I go through Concrete, Washington again, I hope I’ll still find printed copies of the Concrete Herald around town. I wrote briefly about the Herald in a piece about Concrete, click here.

When I’m lucky enough to travel abroad, I make a stab at reading the foreign languages in which Le Monde, Corriere della Sera and the Times of London are written.

I grew up reading syndicated columnists who appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer, although they wrote for newspapers in Chicago (Mike Royko), Washington (Art Buchwald) or Los Angeles (Jim Murray), not to mention Cincinnati’s own Bob Brumfield.

I no longer subscribe to a printed newspaper of any description: world, local or neighborhood coverage. The days of sitting at breakfast and leafing through one, checking the sports scores, reading the comics or doing the crossword are things of the past here at Rancho Retro.

Nothing more clearly demonstrates the impact of technology on the flow of information than the topic of print versus online news.

Still an avid news reader, I rarely fail to spend a measurable amount of time on the websites of the LA Times, New York Times, BBC and a few others, including the newspaper that covers my portion of Los Angeles, The Daily Breeze.

I’m not entirely satisfied with that situation. There are aspects of turning the pages of a well laid-out newspaper that can’t be replicated by even the best websites. Granted, there are no hyperlinks to related material, no streaming video and just as many advertisements in print as online, but there’s nothing like a newspaper for those serendipitous discoveries, those full-page spreads of news or features from every part of the world. Also missing from newspapers are the irritating full page pop-up ads that block the screen (I’m looking at YOU, latimes.com).

We’re currently retrieving the neighbors’ newspaper while they’re out of town, and this was the first morning in many years we’d sat down to breakfast with the newspaper spread out on the table.

newspaper Brad Nixon 7044 (640x480)

I won’t belabor the point, but it was a pleasure, and one worth repeating.

I feel divided, because I know that, ultimately, only a fraction of the existing printed newspapers (already a paltry set of survivors from a few decades ago) will endure as more readers (including me), cancel their print subscriptions and read online. Rather, I suppose, many papers will persist, but only online, and there’ll be no more morning coffee with that page of box scores from yesterday’s baseball games open in front of me (or I could turn the page, study the entries for the day’s racing at Santa Anita Racetrack, and mark my choices with a pencil).

I particularly mourn the loss of those local newspapers — many of them weeklies — that have disappeared or certainly will, including the paper that served my Midwestern hometown for more than 150 years before it closed up shop. Journalism and journalists continue, but their old order is rapidly fading.

What’s your preference: print or online? Or both? What’s better about one or the other? Please add a comment.

© Brad Nixon 2017. Photo of me reading a now-ancient headline © Marcy Vincent 2017, used by kind permission.

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Responses

  1. Great article Mr. Nixon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Print!!

    Like

  3. I like the printed word more. It is like I can focus on it more… Plus I like the smell 🙂 There is nothing better than smell of printed paper 😀
    Happy Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I get my news from 3 sources: L.A. Times print edition, my wife (who’s a news junkie), and from “the shows” (mainstream media).

    As a Baby Boomer, I grew up at the dawn of the TV age. Thus, I never warmed up to the idea of getting my news online.

    Like

  5. I still till this day prefer paper although online makes things a lot easier when it comes to searching, scrolling, space saving, etc. there is just something timeless when it comes to paper, well really any physical paperback reads for that matter.

    Like

    • It’s good to have a choice. May that continue to be an option.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Always! Oh I hope so, I can just see the day come when everything is digital and all physical means are no longer out there.

        Like


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