THE COMING END OF NEWSPAPERS
I’ve always enjoyed newspapers, ever since I delivered them for many years as a teen. Now that I am retired, I take three papers and spend three to four hours a day reading them. They are all morning papers, and if I have other things to do in the daytime, I end up reading them to late at night.
I read most everything. I read the editorials, the letters to the editor, the advice columns, the sports columns, even the obituaries. I read movie reviews, TV reviews - even through I don’t watch many TV shows - book reviews. About the only things I skip are horoscopes and articles on bridge.
After I read the front page, my favorite part of the paper is the comics.
On Sundays The Los Angeles Times is often 600 pages or more. The Daily News (Van Nuys) is pretty heavy, too. And then there is my local paper, The Signal. So Sunday papers usually take about six hours to get through. Sometimes I have to keep them till later in the week to finish.
You’d think I must be very well informed. The problem is, I usually forget most everything I read rather fast.
So, I am very disheartened to realize newspapers are rapidly dying out. In the last couple of years, nationwide, over a hundred papers have gone out of business, including some major market papers. Even my own favorite, The Los Angeles Times, is in bankruptcy. Its size has shrunk, a quarter of its editorial staff eliminated. It looks like it is only a matter of time before it is gone.
I think most people just done read anymore. The world is too busy. People work harder, drive further to work, have to worry about taking the kids to
soccer practice. By evening they just want to collapse in front of a TV.
Television is fine, but for me, it could never replace newspapers.
The internet is probably the biggest reason for the demise of newspapers. We live in an electronic age. People want a quick fix for the news. That means lower circulation for newspapers. And that in turn means less advertising. And advertising is what supports newspapers. The irony is, much of the news we find on the internet is copied from newspapers. Newspapers are trying to find a way to charge the internet for the news it takes from the papers but so far they apparently haven’t figured out a workable formula.
So one day soon we may all be reduced to getting our news on the internet, on Ipods, or from talk radio or Fox News, CNN or MSNBC on television.
I don’t like reading my news on a computer monitor. And no television show can present everything at once like a newspaper. There is nothing like spreading a newspaper out in front of you, flipping through the pages and having the whole spectrum of news, opinion and entertainment spread out at your fingertips.
I already miss bigger newspapers the way they were not long ago. I will greatly miss them when they are gone.
If you enjoy nostagia, and if you like motorcycles, you would probaby enjoy my book, OVER THE HANDLEBARS, First published in 1975, then updated and enlarged in 2006, it is a collection of short stories and articles about all aspects of motorcycling. It is available from Amazon.com. I also have written two other books about motorcycling availalbe from Amazon.com. You can read all 3 of them on your computer for just $2.99 each. Go to motorcyclenostalgia.com.