I gave up my newspaper subscription a few years ago when I had a writing deadline and realized I was spending upwards of an hour and a half every morning on the newspaper. During an extended visit with friends who still indulge in the not-so-guilty pleasure of a daily paper, I am reminded of what I’ve been missing.
Internet snippets and TV sound bites are simply not designed to supply adequate information on—well, anything! Even skipping around from CNN to MSNBC to Fox does not satisfy as a real, honest-to-goodness newspaper does. I know features like Ann and Abby, the comics, and puzzles are all available on line, but I like them better in print.
Op-ed stuff is somehow better in print form, too. Perhaps because when you’ve read one feature there, your eye strays to another on that same page that you may or may not find interesting, but it is there. This is true of straight news pages, too. The reader can divert to some item he or she selects—not something chosen by TV folks or internet people. Letters to the editor are more thoughtful than the instant messaging of “comments” at the end of an internet story or feature. Often as not, the anonymity of on-line comments encourages inanity and bigotry.
So . . . when I get home, I am renewing my newspaper subscription.