Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2018 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Cleaning the Clutter"--I might literally be cleaning my closets or figuratively clearing the excess from some other part of my life. I'm sure you can think of other things this could mean for you as well.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

**

Monday, April 16, 2018

Newspapers and Necessities ( #AtoZChallenge )



       When I was a kid I used to put out editions of my own personal newspaper.  There was always only one copy since I had to write it out by hand.   My two readers would each look at it and then give it back to me.   My career in newspapers didn't go far...





I've got a lot of "necessities" that I don't think I need any longer. 


        Newspapers have always figured into my life in some way.  My parents always had a newspaper delivered and I would usually read through it for at least the comic section, but also to read some of the stories.  It was not unusual for me to find research data in the paper that I would use for school projects.  Then there were the days when we had current events show-and-tell in class.  We'd all have to find a newspaper story to explain to the classroom.  As much as I disliked standing in front of the class and speaking, this was one activity that I enjoyed.  Typically I'd bring an unusual story buried within the paper--a story that I didn't think any other student would duplicate.  And usually no one else had brought it.  I felt like I was delivering news that no one had yet heard and to me that seemed exciting.

       During my high school years I began saving the old newspapers that came to our house.  They began piling up in my room and then later in other parts of the house.  This was me thinking ecologically before conservation became a fad and then a relevant issue.   Later, a couple of years after I had entered college and began working at a warehouse during the summer, I discovered a recycling center where I could cash in the old newspapers I had been saving.   I loaded up my van and went to the center.   Now, I can't quite remember how much I got for the accumulated newsprint, but it was somewhere in the neighborhood of thirty dollars.  It was enough to fill my gas tank with plenty of cash left over for other things.   Gas was very cheap at the time and thirty bucks could be stretched nicely when hourly pay was $1.85.

       Over the years I've read newspapers for entertainment, information, and a general awareness of my world and my community.   During the decade plus that I worked on the road I regularly read papers that would be discarded.  When I settled down into my life in Los Angeles I subscribed to the L.A. Times and began saving papers which I would bring to work to be used for packing boxes being shipped.

        There has always been something special to me in newspapers.  There still is even though I've stopped subscribing.  I don't think any newspapers are like they used to be, but nothing is.  We don't need the daily paper to keep us updated on the news.  Coupons are available in many places.  If I want crossword puzzles I can always buy a puzzle magazine which for now I won't need to do because I have a few years' worth of puzzles stored up from old newspapers. 

       We really don't need newspapers like we might need our medicines, household supplies, and toilet paper.  We need food and other stuff to keep us properly nourished.  We need many things and even many of those things that we think we need are just things that make life better.  But it would be hard to convince me that we need newspapers in our day and age.  And it pains me to say that.

       I used to think that my newspapers were necessities.   Then after they stopped coming it didn't seem to matter that much.  Instead of reading newspapers I did something else.  I still have a dwindling stack of newspapers with some dating back to 1999.  Mostly they are book review and political commentary sections.   I'm slowly reading through the dwindling stacks that remain.  When they are gone I'll be happy that I have space in my closet for something else.  That's probably all that I'll feel unless I really start thinking about it, which I probably won't.

        Do you still have a newspaper subscription?   What continued value do you see in the existence of newspapers?   Do you trust the news that you get on the internet less than that which might appear in a newspaper?








43 comments:

  1. Reading news from papers till makes me feel good. Though digital news reading has become the trend of the hour, reading news from papers syncs better in my memory.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kalai, oh, I too enjoy reading an actual newspaper when I have one available. I like reading the small town stuff from back where my sisters live.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. We haven't received a newspaper in twenty years. Faster to get the news online. We don't even get physical magazines anymore. The one I still subscribe to comes in digital form.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, I don't seem to have the time to read much more than I do now and still do the other stuff I want to do. Publications would just add to my things to do list.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. Hi Arlee! That is one interesting post there. Its nice to see that you stay in the Los Angeles area. We stayed in Rancho Cucamonga and Ontario in San Bernardino area for 5 years. Have lovely memories of the place. I still preserve clippings of newspaper portions that I find interesting only to never read them ever again. But, they are piled up neatly somewhere..lol. I used to subscribe to The GoodHousekeeping and The O magazine while there. https://thetinaedit.com/ :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tina, I still have an idea file filled with news clippings and other things, but I don't add as much to it these days.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. Our small town newspaper is awful so we don't get one. I do remember when you could get paid for recycling. They paid in Arkansas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. L.Diane, I'm guessing that I could find some interesting newspapers in my area now, but I'm not sure I need them. We still get paid for recycling here if one wants to take their papers to one of those places. You really have to have a lot of newsprint to get much of anything.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. Hi Lee!

    What a great exercise it was to read an article in class! I've been fascinated with newspapers since before I could read. I thought there just had to be some compelling reason that grandma got up early every day to read the paper before work.
    There was a time when I believed every word in the newspaper. I still do, somewhat. But if I want someone's opinion, I'll ask. We no longer subscribe to home-delivery, but I do read the paper online, from time to time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diedre, I thought current events share was common everywhere. We did it back in the late fifties/early sixties when my family lived in San Diego. I just assumed it was a thing every teacher did.

      I'm more questioning now than I used to be, but things have become so partisan that everyone goes overboard with their agenda. I take a lot of grains of salt these days.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. Necessities change over time, isn't it?

    www.volatilespirits.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anu, they change over time, place, and circumstances.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. When I was young, the Chicago Daily News was my paper of record. I'd come home from school and pretty much read it from the front page through the back. They had great columnists, national ones like Evans and Novak and Sidney J. Harris and a whole bunch of local ones, chiefly Mike Royko (yes, he was national, too, but he was from Chicago). On the weekends, there was the Chicago Sunday Tribune, bastion of Midwestern conservatism (Col. McCormick, long the publisher of the Trib, is no doubt spinning in his grave given the 180 degree editorial turnabout), which rivaled the New York Times in terms of size and scope. We bought it on Saturday night, when I'd read the important stuff (the sports, comics, magazine, and TV booklet) and the other sections on Sunday and through the week.

    Times have changed. I traveled a lot in the mid-80's and would usually get a copy of USA Today thrust under the door at oh-dark-thirty. During baseball season I'd read the box scores while I was in the bathroom and throw the rest out; the rest of the year, I'd either throw it out or leave it in front of someone else's door on my way out to work. (One day I actually left it in front of my door, and came back to find it still there and the room not made up.) On rare occasions the hotel would leave a local paper for me, and that was always worth reading, especially in smaller towns.

    I don't know where I was going with this, but basically I see little value in a dead-tree newspaper and even less in one online. As Mark Twain said, if you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed, and if you do read the newspaper, you're misinformed...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John, I often used to read the USA Today papers if I had time, but they seemed so generic and lacking in the local flavor. I enjoyed reading local papers even though I didn't know everything I was reading about. For a brief moment I felt like a hometown boy.

      I'm not a fan of online papers. I spend enough time on the computer.

      Lee

      Delete
  8. We haven't taken a newspaper subscription for years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristin, a lot of paper have gone or are going out of business. It's kind of sad, but kind of their fault too.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. Usually it's the TV news while fixing dinner. It's hard to get uncluttered, opinion-less, open-minded news, so everything is heard with a dose of skepticism. I simply watch for the important bits - the temperature in town and who won the ballgame... N is for Nature

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kimberly, I amass an assortment of information and come to my own conclusions. I don't take much stock in some of the TV panel discussions.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. A long time ago, newspapers were well worth it. Stories and ads big and small could coexist. Now, the only stories that rise up through the ads are the ones you've already heard from every rooftop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CW, that was back when you felt like you could trust most of what you read and the comics were also called the funny pages. Now the news is sometimes funny and the comic section is full of politics and themes of social relevance. The newspapers have gone topsy-turvy.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. I enjoy newspapers. It is the same with paper books. It is the feeling of holding/turning the pages, I think.

    And I can skip all the stuff I want to easily. I am not a hoarder in any way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan K., I'm old school in the same way. Newspapers may go, but I do hope books remain.

      Lee

      Delete
  12. I was in fourth grade when I got a toy typewriter for my birthday. I painstakingly typed up a neighborhood newspaper - four times - and sold the copies for a dime each. I guess that was my start.

    We live in a rural area and recently subscribed to the local weekly newspaper. I find I don't read it much, it's oversized and hard for me to hold and read. Yes, I'm old...LOL!

    Donna B. McNicol|Author and Traveler
    A to Z Flash Fiction Stories | A to Z of Goldendoodles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna, I dreamed of actually selling my papers, but alas, I was technologically disadvantaged.

      I might have the same problem with over-sized newspapers now. I used to read papers and listen to music for hours when I was younger.

      lee

      Delete
  13. I will read one if it is available. Other wise thr internet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike, most people are turning to the internet. I hope they're getting true news.

      Lee

      Delete
  14. I must be out of step. I value newspapers as they are and have been. The L.A. Times is way down in content, but that is due, as I see it to drops in readers and advertisers. I value the fact that I can pick the article I want to read and go there. In contrast, I get the same news item, over and over, from TV, re-hashed every 30 minutes and interrupted at every critical point by blurbs bugging me to buy-buy-buy.
    Hopefully, we'll get something better, in time, from streaming TV. It may even approach the quality level of a newspaper and allow me to pick what I want to read rather than the channel's choice for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jack, this is the conundrum: Newspapers losing revenue and declining in content. I don't know that there is any way out of this and old school news fans like you and me are going to lose the newspapers that we came to love. I'm sure the Times still has some good aspects, but now having done without, I don't miss the paper that much.

      Lee

      Delete
  15. I remember loving to bring home the Sunday paper, scouring there it and then the coupon section! You just didn't feel right unless you had the Sunday paper. Today now, we never buy the Sunday or any other day. I love when I come across a saved paper and always say, "look how big the paper used to be in comparison to today." Just to hold the older paper pages, must have made your arms tired!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeanne, I never get the Sunday paper anymore, but I do miss some of it. I don't even know what current films are because looking at the theater section was the only way I kept up with new releases.

      Lee

      Delete
  16. We still subscribe and my husband reads the whole paper, some parts more thoroughly than others. He is not a computer guy so does not want to change to read it from the internet. I made a newspaper edition myself one summer when my sister went away on vacation and I wanted to let her know the important things she missed while she was gone. I found out last year that the mother of a friend of ours had kept a copy of that newspaper for 50 years! He took a picture of it and sent it to me in an email. I was floored.
    Janet’s Smiles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet, maybe someday if there is still a paper around I might subscribe to it again. For now I have to get my house in order. Very cool to have kept that old personal paper. I would have kept it too because I still have the old papers that I made.

      Lee

      Delete
  17. We do still subscribe to the local newspaper because it has stories about local things that the internet doesn't. Or maybe it does, but you have to dig for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Calensariel, there's probably a more local paper that I could get. So much in the big L.A. paper doesn't mean much to me.

      Lee

      Delete
  18. Nrewpapaers don't seem the same nowadays Lee, I only buy theme occasionally. Loved your "N" letter post.

    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne, newspapers are old school, but I hope never a thing of the past.

      Lee

      Delete
  19. Lee,

    We don't subscribe to the local newspaper. The only time we buy a newspaper is when we need it for other things other than the news like wrapping up stuff, etc. I don't trust most news sources unless it comes from a conservative based publication but even then I have to listen to my heart regardless of what's being reported. I'm still of the mindset to question what's presented instead of taking it for what it is. Thanks for sharing!

    Curious as a Cathy
    iPad Art Sketch 'N' is for Naptime for Baby

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, bend any news to the middle is probably an advisable stance to take. We need to stay informed, but come to informed decisions on our own.

      Lee

      Delete
  20. I remember as a child the paper boy coming around in the afternoon delivering the afternoon paper, for years we used to get Saturday's paper delivered. Now days we rarely buy a paper

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jo-Anne, I can't remember an actual traditional paper boy, but they probably came by when I wasn't around. In TN there was always a carrier in a car since houses were pretty spread out.

      Lee

      Delete
  21. There's something about the smell of newsprint in the morning - and having black on my fingers. Brit papers, of course, are thinner and over the years reduced in format. As a retired journalist, I was surrounded by papers for many years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roland, oooh that smell! I remember when papers were like that but then they remedied that in recent decades. But, yeah, I can recall having to wash my hands now and then because they'd get so black.

      Lee

      Delete
  22. Time To catch up! We never had a subscription but my parents did and my dad always read everything, I prefer to get my information through the tv and I will see what’s on the Internet but I am careful since the news can be slanted. Once I begin to see actual video or audio tape plus the evidence or the person talking, the. I can go from there.

    ReplyDelete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee