Every night at 6:30 p.m. my parents are there just as they have been for 40 plus years, since before I was born. Where? Okay, every night might be a stretch. But most nights. Again, where? In front of the TV, watching the nightly network news. And every morning their day starts with not one, but two, newspapers. And those were viewing and reading habits passed on to me, at least for awhile. As a high school kid, my day began reading those same newspapers and watching the same nightly news.
Fast forward to today and my morning begins by glancing at my smartphone or my computer to see the headlines. I go to CNN.com, Nytimes.com, politico.com, abcnews.com, and maybe weather.com In about as much time as it would take to read the paper, I get my news from across the spectrum online at my fingertips. I did buy a newspaper this morning. I’m not sure why, perhaps it was just a whiff of nostalgia. I doubt my 8-month old daughter will ever see newspapers as a deeply ingrained part of her life like I once did. And I do think that is sad. Newspaper stories were a unifying force, a common thread we all shared and could talk about around the water cooler. Today’s media is so fragmented and diverse that few of us read the same sources for our news.
I used to watch the nightly news also but unless I just happen to be in front of the TV at that time, what’s the point? I already have my fill of news at my fingertips all day long, I don’t need Diane Sawyer telling me what she thinks is news.
CAPTION: A community profile written in the summer of 1990 of the tiny settlement of West Elkton, Ohio about 12 miles west of Middletown. I spent several days there with a photographer for a "Sunday package" story about "small town" life. The story began with a profile of "Ma & Pa's" a local restaurant/general store. It was run by a man named George who kept a handgun behind the counter and made biscuits from scratch every morning. A group of regulars came in every morning for coffee, biscuits, and gossip. A couple of customers even had their own key to the store if George was running a little late. Those were the types of stories I loved to capture and the ones newspapers largely don't devote the resources to anymore.
I do miss newspapers. Unlike network TV newscasts ,which were always sort of sterile, the local newspaper was a reflection of the local community with all its color, characters,and coverage. I used to be a reporter for my local newspaper some 20 years ago. I’d scratch out stories from the people and places in my own backyard. I spent nights on the job with third-shift workers writing about those who worked while others slept. I covered county fairs and sleepy small towns. I nurtured my interest in Plain communities by spending time with the German Baptist Brethen and writing about them. I was given free rein to go out and cover the community and dig for interesting, fun stories which I filled the Sunday paper with during the summer of 1990. I’d never be given such latitude today. Space would be too tight, the budget couldn’t justify having me spend the day at the county fair.
And I remember when many cities still hung on to not one but TWO papers. Little Muncie Indiana had the morning Star and the evening Press. Dayton,Ohio had the Journal Herald and the Daily News. Cincinnati had The Post and the Enquirer. Cities like Tulsa, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Kansas City had two dailynewspapers duking it out. Today, only tiny Fort Wayne, Indiana hangs on with two daily papers in the same city. I still marvel at how they are able to keep two papers going. I used to have newsprint in the blood, dreaming of one day owning my own newspaper, or maybe even starting one from scratch.
Business Insider posted a story recently that seems to sound the death knell for newspapers largely because of the generational shift of readers like me towards electronic media.
So, where do you get your news? Do you still subscribe to a daily paper? Watch the nightly news?
Carol Crowe Phillips
We get two newspapers but not weekly.Our local paper is three days a week. Then the paper from the nearest city (about 25 miles away) is printed daily but we get it Friday through Monday. We like to have the Sunday paper (with the comics!!). I grew up with the local paper and for while we had two local papers. My parents subscribed to both as well as both Knoxville (the city nearby) papers. Now Knoxville has only the one. There is also a free paper here once a month that is put out at various locations around the county. I read the obituaries, like my Mom did and like I said I would never do. I have found that it is now important to me to know if any friends or relatives have passed away. We do still watch the news sometimes. I also check the internet daily and have been known to skip the TV news b/c I had already heard all the stories. The two papers we subscribe to as well as others in this area still print stories about the county fair, sorghum making, a local author's book or some other community event or just an interesting local flavor story. I hope that doesn't change in my lifetime. I am sad that some areas do not have this anymore. There is something about the feel, smell and sound of a newspaper or a book in your hands or even ink stains from reading one. Also Silly Putty would be pretty useless without newspapers!
I do miss the local paper and in the form you describe it sounds great...unfortunately our local paper just doesn't do the sort of "hyper-local news" that would make it worth reading, we get canned news off the wire....so it's just not worth it...
Carol Crowe Phillips
Check out http://www.roanecounty.com for a sample of our local paper if you'd like to see it.
I agree some with you Kevin, I don't take the paper anymore.....way too expensive.....we get a free County Shopper on Sun.
there is a weekly paper, I do not take it. I watch GMA every morn. & switch from it to HLN..... then usually will watch DIANE SAWYER (sorry Kevin, I do like her ) and according to what's going on for the day, may switch to CNN off and on....I do watch some on CNBC ,.they have informative info on there....
Before I moved to Ohio, I used to get THE DETROIT NEWS & THE FREE PRESS.....and most cities had their own paper that usually came out on a Wed. so I got that one too.....then I just went to the hometown paper that I lived in for the local news, could always get the rest on CNN, etc.
Watching the news now is mostly depressing,, or not fit for kids to watch....can not watch it when grandkids are here...it's getting that bad.....but you can always switch channels or turn it off and I do that too.....See some news online when I am on,
So, that is what I do for news.....
We still receive. a daily paper. We also watch the evening news.I do read news on my I-pad too.