Thursday, December 21, 2017

Perusing A Newspaper...A Lost Art

When I got home from work today, I found something included in the junk mail--a real, live newspaper. Reports of their complete extinction appear to be exaggerated. 

Up until the last fifteen years, papers were part of life. When we were kids my brother had a paper route--sometimes I'd help him out. My mom subscribed to the paper. How else could you get the coupons, or know what deals were available on Black Friday or after Christmas? In college I read our student newspaper as well as the dailies. I even considered becoming a newspaper reporter, something that happened years later.

The paper Like most people my age, we grew up with newspapers. They were our non-digital internet. It's easy to forget just how important they were for us. We needed a newspaper to tell us not only where and when movies played, but movie reviews told us if the movies were even worth seeing. They had national and international stories. We were informed in ways the TV news couldn't deliver.

And just how important were the classifieds? They were information gold! We found jobs, cars, apartments, houses, furniture, pets--you name it. The classified section alone was worth the cost of the paper. Today, the classifieds totaled only a few printed inches in the paper we received in the mail. Back in the day, the classifieds in this paper were never really big, but they used to be a lot bigger than they are now.

As I aged, the sports section became more and more important to me. I read about our high school teams, then college teams, then pro teams. We trusted the reporters' words when we couldn't be there. They were our eyes, ears, and voices. 

The paper I opened and scanned today was The Davis County Clipper, celebrating 126 years as Davis County's New Source. This particular paper's always been smaller than the two biggest papers in Utah, the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune. It was as big as it needed to be. It served a need for the community. It also brings good memories for me--I covered sports teams for them back in the 1990s and 2000s. It was a blast and I learned a lot doing it.

Everyone, whether they've followed the plights of newspapers or not, knows it's been tough for the medium for the past few decades. We get our news differently now, mostly from the same tool by while I continue my daily blog. It's easy to wax nostalgic for the days when the snap of a crisp newspaper signaled to all within earshot that news was happening, all on the printed page. Many have morned the newspaper's fate. The Davis County Clipper has been going for 126 years. I wonder how long they'll be able to keep the streak going. Time will tell.

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