is it time to let go?

Are newspapers dying? Most people would quickly respond by saying, “yes!” While I agree with most people, it’s hard for me to let go of the idea of newspapers. I am still the girl who likes holding a physical objects, whether it’s a textbook, a book I’m currently reading, or even a newspaper. I find myself more involved with what I’m doing. Call me old school, but I like being able to physically hold, feel, and smell what I’m interacting with.

Everyone’s main point for why newspapers are dying is simply because we have changed our way of how we access our news. We have local news airing, national news airing, the radio, and mainly, the internet and other social media sites that allows us to stay up to the second with what’s going on in the world. But then I take a step back and ask myself, is it really that important to stay up to the second on what’s going on in the world? I mean, I sometimes feel as if I don’t know what’s going on in my best friends life who lives in Minnesota because I’m so caught up in what’s going on in my own life. Call me selfish, but when I’m juggling between school, work, finding an apartment, finding a second job, and trying to have a social life. It’s hard for me to worry about what’s going on around the world in every single different country.
I know there are people who make it apart of their daily habits. I used to read the newspapers and stayed a little more in touch with what was going on nationally, but only enough so I could be informed. Honestly, today I feel so overwhelmed with all the bombarding of news I almost get sick of it and tune it out. Within the past year or so, with my life the way it has been, I mainly hear about what’s going on in the world because of word of mouth or because I have a couple apps on my phone that allow me to check further into something I might have heard.

Something that I noticed when I had the actual paper in hand was one thing I was slightly surprised about. I realized I missed reading the newspaper. I tried so hard to read it everyday, but again, with the life of a 25 year old, it was difficult to find time. Towards the end of it, I just started carrying it around in my purse like I would do with any book I’m currently reading. I understood that my lack in following with the news was because when I did try reading it on my phone or on my computer, my focus was always some where else. I wasn’t able to absorb all the content that I should have from an article.
But sitting down in a coffee shop, or outside on my patio, I was able to pay close attention to the different language and images that were placed in black and white. I was more likely to read more out of the newspaper than I would from a tweet on CNN or USA today. I noticed that my first place I’d hit in the newspapers was always the entertainment section. Who’s playing where locally (Denver Post or Westward). When new albums were coming out, what movies, plays, and hit singles were released.

With the Westward, I could see all of my favorite venues lined up one by one, see who was playing and when tickets would go on sale. What’s funny about this, is that I have about 3 different music apps (Bandsintown, onTour, and Songkick) that notifies me anytime my favorite band goes on tour or is in town. While I used them weekly when I first got my phone, lately, I’ve been using the Westward to see what’s new. Since I’ve moved to Denver, I’ve only read Westward a handful of times, every time I do, I always tell myself to pick it up more. Why do I never follow through with this?

Same goes for newspapers. Whenever I have the chance to read one, I always fall in love with it again. I find myself reading things I might not have read if I saw the headline on-line. For instance, one morning in the Denver Post, I read a story about a boy who was battling a genetic disability that CU are trying to explain. It’s a pretty rare genetic gene. While I like hearing about this stuff, it’s not something I would necessarily read if I was on the internet or on the website of the Post.

Most people my age or younger don’t really know how to navigate the newspaper, but I found myself becoming entertained again with the process of reading it. I related how some people might get distracted if they’re reading their literature on the computer. While I can’t read things on a screen mainly because I can think of 30 other things to do while I’m either on my phone or on my laptop, the news paper created some entertainment for me that was able to help keep my focus. Where it was just enough of a time lapse that allowed me to wonder my thoughts, but also stay tuned into what I was reading. I liked searching through different pages because then I was able to see what else was on the following page from what the headliner was.

Unfortunately, newspapers are turning into a form of media where it doesn’t show as much pertinence as it once did. We have other forms of reaching getting our news. Most of it coming from websites and Twitter. Something I found hilarious was the first day I went to go buy my newspaper at Starbucks, the girl didn’t even know how to ring it up because there was no bar code. Also, probably because people don’t buy them as often as they once did. Another reaction was, when I walked into Starbucks another morning to grab my USA today, a gentleman in line spoke out to his friend claiming, “now that’s something you don’t see everyday anymore” while both their eyes darting directly at me.

For me, it’s just sad that this media is a dying cause. I understand the urgency and how easy it is to get information these days being that we have access to SO many different outlets. But doesn’t one ever find themselves drowning with information?

It’s so easy too, to back up your own beliefs by finding articles, blogs, and tweets that support of political background, your theories of life, and morals that I began wondering if this is why so many debates have now become purely one bashing the other. Not being able to understand different sides and really analyzing what the other one is saying. It’s so easy now to prove that “your way is the right way” because everyone is strongly using their voice. Which is great, but also, I believe that it’s taking away from people using politically correct criticism.

I believe it’s great that everyone is finally using their voices and speaking their opinions. Seriously, it’s great to see so many people concerned about our world, touching on all topics. But because now we can pick and choose what we want to read, it’s like we have blinders on. We’ve forgotten to sit back and listen to an opposing side and letting it “sink in” so one might see where they’re coming from. Maybe it’s the way people were brought up too, but I’m saying that today, I see so much more of, well I have this source to back my belief up, and the source you’re referring to isn’t logical or significant. It’s very straight and narrow.

The newspapers might be a dying media, but should it be one that we fully let go?


2 responses to “is it time to let go?

  1. Your Starbucks story is amusing – and I think an indicator that one day the only place people will be able to find a newspaper will be in a museum. I’m so old I remember when USA Today was first published. I was a sophomore in college and I remember my mass media professor showing us an early copy.

  2. Good commentary on your experience with the paper. I think you make a good point when you write, ” But doesn’t one ever find themselves drowning with information?” This points to how loud it is and how hard it is to rise above the noise. Yet, you also mention that newspapers do have a valuable role in society and that as they “decline” or reinvent themselves in a new form that role is still important.

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