Why I don't subscribe to the local newspaper
Entry updated Feb. 21, 2008 at 7:16 a.m.
This weekend I revealed my falling out with cable television, and how it had little effect on my enjoyment of visual entertainment. Today I'll let you in on another revelation: I don't subscribe to a local newspaper.
And I don't foresee starting anytime soon.
As a 20-something young professional with a more than working knowledge of the Internet, my dirty little secret shouldn't shock anyone. It's probably more laughable that I picked up the deadwood edition from my stoop as long as I did.
I did work for a newspaper in my last job after all. Also, it was free (job perk).
The shock here is that I have a Master's degree in journalism, which most people think handcuffs me to a very expensive press. But before the fingers begin wagging, understand this: I visit the Web site of my city's newspaper several (10+) times per day. (I also get their Twitter updates; thanks Random crew!)
That's a heck of a lot more attention than I paid to the daily litter box liner. It held my gaze for as long as I spent eating a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios and drinking my beloved coffee.
I don't hate printed news. It's just incompatible with how I live my life. And why should I bend my schedule to get news that comes to me in a better format? Oh, and I also get news as it happens thanks to the concept of breaking news, without talking heads even!
Notice I haven't complained about having to pay for the news. I have no problem with the concept of giving money in exchange for a service. Heck, those subscriptions feed the company I work for (and my stomach).
And just so you now I ain't lying, know that I'm currently trying to decide whether to get home delivery of the Sunday New York Times. I also subscribe to Wired, Fast Company and VeloNews.
If newspapers had realized way back then -- I'm talking mid-90s here -- that providing information to the masses is a valuable product people will desire regardless of the medium, I doubt we'd be seeing the thrashing, floatie-equipped arms of an industry slowly drowning under its own pride.
So let the Sam Zell's of the world reveal their ignorance of these tubes we call the Web.
The newspapers can be saved yet -- we just might have to use a little paper to get the fire started.
I've denoted mine. Have you?