This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stop The Presses?

Are Newspapers dying?

         Please say it ain't so.  I have loved newspapers since childhood.  I remember back in the late 50's and early 60's when as school children we would have to clip out an article on certain days to present before the class for current events.  I would scour the depths of the paper to find some bizarre ariticle that I was sure no one else would be presenting.  I would read the daily funnies and work the crossword puzzles.  The newspaper provided me hours of entertainment, enjoyment, and education.

          Back when I was in high school and college, one might have thought I was in danger of becoming one of those packrat whackos that you read about who have a house filled with stacks of newspapers. Indeed, I had two stacks:  the papers that I still needed to read (I read nearly everything in the paper and would often get behind) and the papers I needed to take to the recycling center (I was into recycling before it was fashionable, I saved newspapers because you could  get money for the used newsprint).  Reading newspapers was one of my favorite forms of recreation.

         Clipping news articles was also a hobby of sorts.  I would look for unusual articles for story ideas, clip them, and save them.  I still have a file drawer reserved for these articles and even now sometimes add new articles to the file.  The newspaper was such a wonderful source for current information, as well as interesting features.  The newspaper was written for us--the people.

         What happened?  I think newspapers lost sight of the original intended mission.  They are supposed to be feeding the populace --expressing the "vox populi".  Of course the papers often espoused certain agendas, but they were something in which the masses were interested and could get behind.  And there has always been some media manipulation and scandulous behavior, but that was part of the game too. It was all broadscale and bigger than life when it came to some of the front page and editorials and that was part of the fun.  Now the agendas have often become narrower and less savory to most readers.

         Why read the paper for news when all of the news can be found instantly on TV, radio, and the internet?  For that matter, the internet has it all -- recipes, movie reviews, commentary, sports, and anything else that we used to go to the newspaper to get.  Even coupons-- you can't find as many coupons in the paper as you used to and now they come via email or are found on internet sites.  Or classifieds-- why advertise in the paper when you've got resources like Craigslist or the mailout adzines like the PennySaver. 

         The newspaper stopped serving me years ago.  I now only get the L.A Times week-end editons delivered (they throw in Thursday at no charge) and that's only for the crosswords, Sunday coupon sections, and entertainment section.  I have the extra bonus of some occasionally interesting articles, but I would never miss them if I didn't have them.  The Times does not speak to me.  In fact it condemns much of what I believe and does not address most of my interests.  Instead the Times promotes agendas which I am against and lifestyles that are not mine.  Even the restaurant and travel reviews --it might occasionally be interesting to read about places where the meals are $100 a person or rooms are $500 a night, but those are not the types of places that fit my budget.  Please--speak to me.  Are those people you are speaking to really reading your boring rag?

      In my opinion, newspapers as we have known them in the past are dead.  They will keep getting smaller and smaller until the big ones are essentially gone or somehow migrated to the internet as they are doing now. In the future I think we will see more localized community papers, more special interest papers, and smaller agenda driven papers.  All of these are out there now and have been for years.  But now they will be all there is.  The days of the newspaper with a huge circulation are going to be over in the near future.

       What do you think?  Am I right or wrong on this?  Where do you get most of your news and information now?  Will you miss the newspaper?  What do you like about newspapers and what do you dislike?   Do you have a good local paper that you enjoy?    Does anyone reading this now work for a newpaper, and if so what is your view?


  1. I think the way we read and even print the newspaper is changing. I hope we get to keep the physical newspaper though. I know it must change for technology.

  2. Times are changing. I stopped reading the physical newspaper years ago. The internet is the dumping grounds for all things news.

    With the growing industry for Kindles, IPad, E-Readers, we will see a big shift.

  3. rLEE-b, I think your prediction about the future of newspapers is accurate. However, I don't really share your feelings about their demise. I say, "Good riddance!"

    For a lot longer than any of us has been alive, newspapers have been used to deceive the American public "on a daily basis" by promoting political, economic, and social agendas not conducive to our overall welfare.


    "Through secret agreements and trickery, America had been committed to war, but the political and monetary scientists realized that something still had to be done to change public sentiment. How could that be accomplished? Wall Street control over important segments of the media was considerable. ...

    "On February 9, 1917, Representative Callaway from Texas took the floor of Congress and provided further insight. He said:

    "In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan intersts, the steel, shipbuilding, and powder interests, and their subsidiary organizations, got together twelve men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press. ... They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of 25 of the greatest papers. ... An agreement was reached; the policy of the papers was bought, to be paid for by the month; an editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information regarding the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies, and other things of national and international nature considered vital to the interests of the purchasers."
    ~Congressional Record, Vol. 54; Feb. 9, 1917, Pg. 2,947.

    The above comes from THE CREATURE FROM JEKYLL ISLAND by G. Edward Griffin. This book, by the way, I consider essential reading before anyone's political education can even be considered mature.

    My main point is that for far too long, newspapers have been used to propagandize unwitting Americans on behalf of special interests - few if any of which have our collective well-being in mind. I can't shed any tears over the death of the newspaper.

    ~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe

  4. We still have a local paper delivered on the weekends, but I read most of my news off the net.

    I don't care to watch TV much, except the local news station in the morning and Foxnews in the evening.

    Most newspapers seem to be bias in their reporting and are cutting their own throats.

  5. I don't know if it happens in your part of the world, but here, in old houses you often find them under carpets. In a house my ex husband and I bought, when we were first together, to do up we found newspapers from the 2nd World War they made such interesting reading. It won't be the same in the future, have you ever tried laying a carpet over a computer

  6. It seems everything changes with time and I'm afraid it's the turn of the old faithful newspaper.
    Both my husband and myself used to love the daily paper but since he passed away I began to read it less
    especially when I acquired a pc.

    Interesting topic, most enjoyable to read.


  7. I used to read The Times every morning. But they lost it. I even stopped the Sunday edition a few months ago. Sad, isn't it? I get our local paper now and enjoy it.

  8. I love reading my local paper. I'd hate it to go online only. There's just something about that (messy) newsprint.

  9. So I guess we all are bidding farewell to our traditional newspapers.

    Jamara -- your comment was especially humorous. It will be kind of expensive lining animal cages with computers as well.

    Stephen -- I agree that newspapers have often been used to propagandize and that is something of which I certainly disapprove. My bigger complaint now is that they stomp on the beliefs and traditions of the majority and push minority ideas and agendas as though they are want everyone really wants. I will offer no examples here, but you might know what I'm talking about.

  10. I miss them....They are the perfect liner for the bottom of Lucy, my parrot's cage. She never even minds if the paper is a week old.


  11. Well, I certainly know what you're talking about, rLEE-b. I alluded to the same thing when I wrote:

    "...newspapers have been used to deceive the American public 'on a daily basis' by promoting political, economic, and social agendas not conducive to our overall welfare."

    They play up whatever ideas the social engineers are promoting at the time - ideas about abortion, same-sex marriage, stem cell research, global warming, you name it! - and they attempt to give the American People the impression that these ideas have been established by consensus. In other words, that they have been embraced on a larger scale than they truly have been. They do this in order to deceive the "holdouts" into believing that there is no point in fighting against the inevitable, or in delaying "progress", or in standing in the way of the supposed "will of the people."

    And, of course, they infiltrate our homes with this propaganda "on a daily basis" by having it delivered right to our doorstep. And we get to pay them money for the privilege of being propagandized by them. What a perfect system... for them!

    You wrote: >>[they stomp on the beliefs and traditions of the majority and push minority ideas and agendas as though they are want everyone really wants.]<<

    I agree fully, but I say that this "stomping on the beliefs and traditions of the majority" is just one aspect of the overall propaganda campaign that the major newspapers have been engaged in for the longest time. I think we're both complaining about the same thing.

    Newspapers are partially responsible for our country being in the condition it is. (And that ain't good.) I say, "Goodbye newspapers! And close the door behind you on the way out."

    ~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe

  12. Lonesome Dogg-- Television is probably a much bigger threat than newspapers. At least reading requires some effort and some thougth process. Now television can totally think for the masses and is instantneous.


    You don't even want to get me started on the subject of television!


    ~ Stephen
    <"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
    so a fool repeats his folly."
    ~ Proverbs 26:11>


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