President James Madison said, "A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy" (nyu.edu) For most of its history, the United States depended primarily on newspapers to provide that information. But newspaper companies are falling deep into debt, journalists are losing jobs, and the country is in one of its worst economic situations of all time. Times are obviously changing, and with that the technology world is quickly evolving in its own time spin. But someone forgot to inform the newspaper industry.
At about a dollar a newspaper, one wouldn’t think that such an affordable piece of valuable information could ever die out. But more and more every day, people are turning to new technology to get their news: radio, television, internet, phones, or things like Kindles. Yet newspapers have always been the original format for news; for them to completely die out is not something I would want to imagine. They are a valuable source of information, and I am here to persuade you that newspapers are important, should be purchased, and in most cases are the better option as opposed to getting news online.
There’s something about getting newspaper ink on your fingers and turning the large, crinkling pages. It’s just like reading a book; if you want the full experience, you want to engage it with all of your senses. Touching the pages; seeing the big headlines, captions and bylines; and becoming engrossed in your information are all part of the unique experience of reading a newspaper. There are just some things you can’t get out of a webpage, and that includes the intimate reading experience.
Reading the newspaper has always been an American tradition. There are, in fact, still people that can’t imagine starting their day without a cup of coffee and traveling down the driveway to scoop up the morning newspaper. The fact that newspapers are so much more tangible than their internet counterpart is important in American life as well. Newspapers were meant to be picked apart, to be dived into and pored over. At a kitchen table over breakfast, different sections can be passed around; someone reads the news while another looks over the comics. Reading the newspaper can be a great bonding activity and a way for entire groups and families to become more involved in and aware of their community. Plus, during all of this bonding, the newspaper’s battery will never die.
Newspapers are more reliable than technology will ever be. Newspapers don’t crash like an online news site would. The advertisements in a newspaper don’t flash, move, or even talk to you when you least expect it like they may on a website. Register or join to read the paper? Not in a newspaper format. Simply purchase a newspaper for a dollar and open it up. No chance of forgetting passwords, registering, or opening confirmation emails just to read the news. Newspapers also “load instantly.” So you’re reading the news online, you’ve managed to create a username and password, remember them, and log in. Then your computer freezes and you cannot load your news. That’s not possible with a tangible newspaper. And if the worst that could happen to your newspaper is being dropped in a puddle or spilling a cup of coffee on it? A dollar to replace it. Drop your laptop or Kindle in a puddle or spill coffee on it and you’ve dug yourself into a very deep hole. According to cyberjournalist.net, a newspaper can be read while standing, eating, riding a bus, but never while driving a car, which is precisely when nothing should be read. The site also boasts that newspapers, unlike other news outlets, are not composed of unrecyclable toxic materials.
American social historian Daniel J. Boorstin once said, “There was a time when the reader of an unexciting newspaper would remark, ‘how dull is the world today!’ Nowadays he says, ‘what a dull newspaper!’” newspapers have been pushed to the back burner in today’s society full of fancy gadgets and forward technology. But isn’t there something to be said about taking a moment to do something ‘out of the ordinary’ – reading a newspaper – even if that’s something that used to be the ordinary? Newspapers are a valuable source of information that provides the most intimate of reading experiences, one that requires the reader to engage each and every one of their senses – something a computer cannot stimulate. Reading the newspaper is something that has always been meant to be an American tradition - - a family tradition. And finally, newspapers are simply more reliable than the internet could ever dream to be: the newspaper is always affordable, handy and easy to locate, until the day we stop investing in it. So if you haven’t read one today, pick one up for about a dollar and see what you can discover.