Friday, July 23, 2010

What's the Deal With Newspapers?

Last night I decided to escape the 'real world' and went out to my grandparents' for a sleepover with my cousins. When dinner was finished and they all ran off to text or play video games, my grandma and I were the only ones remaining at the table. It started with the usual "how's school?" and eventually progressed to my journalism degree and working on the school newspaper.

"Every morning, I start the coffee and walk out on the porch and get my newspapers," she said.

I smiled; it was refreshing to hear that people still enjoyed the hard work put into a newspaper.
"Newspapers are so important," she continued. "You can't not have them. They have a purpose, but they aren't being used for that anymore."

"The local newspapers were for local things...but now you open them up and you see everything you can see by turning on the television. If I wanted to know what was going on with the President or in national sports, I would turn on the television. I open the newspaper in the hopes that there will be stories about the locals and the tee-ball team."

Her thoughts made so much sense. Why can't her newspaper provide her with the information she can't get somewhere else like on television or the Internet? (If she had a computer.)

It sort of makes you wonder where exactly newspapers are headed. Although countless people have reminded me that I will never be successful in the print journalism world, I know that it is ultimately what I want to do. There are too many stories out there that will go untold if no one steps up to redefine this media and share the stories of the world. I keep pushing on to tell the stories of the people, for the people. To me, that is the greatest pleasure of them all.


Erica said...

I used to read the paper every day on the subway during my morning commute to my job in NYC. I miss that. I still like a newspaper. There's something about turning those pages and reading that print that the internet just doesn't have! :)

♥ T said...

I agree with you completely! I've never thought of it the way your grandmother talked about it though. It definitely makes sense. I used to read my City newspaper (I live in a small city in the middle of Detroit so although they reported a lot of big news, they also made a point to include community centered articles) religiously until they went out of business a couple months ago.

I'm glad you're still going for print journalism. You're a great writer :)

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Claire said...

Most newspapers have definitely gone downhill now, they seem to have no idea what people want to read. Or they're so full of lies that they're not worth reading anyway. I love your vision of what a newspaper should be, and wish you the best of luck in making it happen!

Keda said...

Personally, I don't read newspapers. Or watch the news. I usually get the gist of what's happening in the world via word of mouth (my sister is a radio journalist) and that's fine by me because it means I get the story without the added frills and drama that come with having to make up a story.

I get what your grandma wants though. It sounds nice, idyllic even. Maybe one day you get to start your own newspaper and you'll give the people what they want. Too true that so many stories go untold. Especially the good ones since we live in a world where 'if it bleeds, it leads'. Why is that? I would much rather live in a world where our greatness lands front page instead of a world where our atrocities is what we end up sharing.

Ashton King said...

Most local newspapers aren't locally owned anymore, so that has a lot to do with it. Corporations have definitely contributed to the downfall of small-town newspapers.

Soumyaranjan Dash said...

Yeah. We are undervaluing the power and purpose of newspapers, today!

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