A depressing article about the demise of newspapers here. Now clearly I'm biased on the newspaper thing because I sold my soul, ahem, work for one. But newspapers are really, really important. I mean, freedom of the press is built into the Constitution! Fine, so I sound like I'm preaching and maybe I am.
For the past few years, I have read The NY Times online because it's easier and faster and cheaper, but I still lust after the Sunday Magazine. That's right. I lust after the magazine, and whenever I can get a free copy of the Times, I take it and skim the articles on the front page (Ok, fine, the first thing I do is look for any glaring mistakes because it's fun to find mistakes in the newspaper of record) and read the opinion page and get my hands smudged with newspaper ink and put it in my bag and carry it around with me because it's a newspaper and I think that's valuable.
And I think the fact that despite TV and the Internet newspapers have been able to hold their own because there are at least some Americans who want real, solid news--not just entertainment and gossip--is a beautiful thing. And I think it is very, very sad that that may be a thing of the past. I heard a newspaper man say recently that he thinks newspapers won't be printed anymore, that they'll just be electroinic (which admittedly is nice in the sense that publishers threatening not to print your paper at 5 a.m. is less than fun). And I think that's sad.
I'm not a traditionalist, but I fail to see anything good in the demise of print media--in the exchange of facts and ideas that comes to us every day in the form of a newspaper. But then maybe I'm part of the problem--a person who loves the newspaper but doesn't pay for it.