Extra, extra!

I have been getting delivery of the morning newspaper for a very long time. Ever since I moved out on my own, lo these many years ago, in fact. My parents had the newspaper delivered to my childhood home. When I got married, my husband and I had the newspaper delivered. When our marriage ended and DD and I went to live elsewhere, I had the newspaper delivered. You could say that I am a lifer. There has almost ALWAYS been a newspaper at my front door in the morning, wherever I have lived.

Enter the digital age. Enter an extremely cyber-savvy daughter. Enter an enviromentally conscious cyber-savvy daughter.

“Mom,” she said to me one day recently, in a very we-need-to-have-a-discussion voice. A voice not unlike my own, actually.

“Why do you have the newspaper delivered? You DO know that there are a million news websites, don’t you? You DO know that you can read the same newspaper on line, don’t you?”

“Huh?” I looked up from perusing the morning paper.

“Mom. Why are you wasting trees? You read the paper, you recycle it. Why? Just get your news on line!”

“Oh. I don’t know why. I just do. It’s easier to read a real paper, I guess. I don’t know, exactly.”

“Mom. Read your damn paper on line already!” And then the clincher: “Mom. You’re an intelligent, computer-literate woman. What’s stopping you from joining the 21st century?”

Damn kid had a point. So I checked out various on-line news formats. I discovered that I could subscribe to my same newspaper on line for about half the price as a print subscription. I mentioned this to DD, whose reaction wasn’t quite what I had anticipated.

“Mom. Why would you pay for it? Every paper has their news stories on their website. You don’t have to subscribe to their on-line paper. Just look at their website!”

Damn kid had another point. By this time, I really couldn’t see why I shouldn’t get my news on line rather than in print.

So I didn’t renew my newspaper subscription when it came up last week. I prepared myself to bookmark a couple of websites to keep up my knowledge of the world around me. I was going to give this my very best shot! I was going to make DD proud! More importantly, I was going to put a stop to these incessant conversations that began with that flat, matter-of-fact “Mom”.

And every day since the expiry of my print subscription, the morning newspaper has continued to arrive faithfully on my doorstep. For free, apparently.

So much for joining the digital 21st century. This is going to be harder than it looks.


12 responses to “Extra, extra!

  1. We get the news magazine “Spiegel”, which I pay for but don’t even read!! The boyfriend insists on having it though, AND reading Spiegel online every day as well. Apparantly some of the stories online differ to the print version, and the print version has special features. And this obviously justifies reading both, in a man’s brain at least.

  2. I’ve never had a regular paper delivery (except for a brief flirtation with the FT delivered) and have read my news online for years & years now. I feel like I get a wider variety of news and different perspectives by not sticking to just one news source.

  3. I usually get a proper newspaper at the weekends, but read them on line in the week, when I don’t have time to read the whole thing. I do read more of the paper copy than I would on line – and I too would not like to see the newspaper industry die out.

    • Alienne – That’s actually a good compromise, just getting the weekend paper and reading on-line during the week. I think I may end up doing that. The weekend editions usually have more articles in which I’m interested, anyway.

  4. True you can get it for free on the newspaper’s website, but they don’t have the whole newspaper unless you subscribe. But then I don’t subscribe to an online paper so what the hell do I know.

    • Jazz – Hopefully, I won’t know what I’m missing. Maybe the parts that are missing are the parts that I wouldn’t necessarily want to read. But I’m going to try it and see how I like it … eventually.

  5. As a career scribe I exhort you to keep getting ‘real’ newspapers. As Mrs. Jones says (despite the fact she belies her argument) a lot of people still labor in the print trade. Sure, I read the NYT and others on line, but I also demand ink-stained fingers to feel fulfilled. The technology doesn’t entirely satisfy, added to which I don’t want to stretch out on the couch with my laptop.

    • mrwriteon – And that is probably my biggest qualm: I don’t know if I NEED to manipulate that physical newspaper or if I will be satisfied with staring at a screen. We shall see – if the print version ever stops being delivered to my door!

  6. The other side to that argument is, of course, that you’re providing employment to the paper delivery boy/girl as well as the newsagent who gets the newspaper in in the first place. Plus there is the argument that newspapers will go out of business if people only get their news free online. Having said that, of course, I know all these arguments and I cancelled my newspaper delivery about 2 years ago and get read all mine online, so you might as well ignore what I’ve just said!

    • Mrs Jones – I suppose the point might be that it’s nice to have the choice nowadays, print or on-line. Oh – and then there’s radio and television news, which is also available on-line. Ooooh – too much choice suddenly!