I have never liked reading the paper, but I did because you know, it was the news and the only way you could get it. On paper. Once a day. Sure there were highlights you got on the nightly news. At 5 and 11. (I know, I am old. I once lived without cable and 24-7 news coverage on a few dozen channels.)
I once, for two weeks, delivered when our local paper delivery boy (a class mate and neighbor) went on vacation. He had very specific rules on how to deliver each one to each house. He was right, at the end of each of the two weeks, I collected the payments and tips from our neighbors. It was a skill – he had it and he knew what had to be done.
We used to have a subscription the community news delivered to our apartment (and for a while to our house.) Like most papers, it had cover articles with national and hot (aka trending) news local section and comics. Sports, too – our roommate read that part (unless it was the Olympics, in which case it was helpful to know when the favorite events were going to be on NBC.)
Now the newspaper is delivered by an adult driving down the street who throws them at the house, in the general direction of the front door at 5 AM and never ever makes it onto the porch, let alone at the front door, on the mat where we’d want it to be. We decline to subscribe; even the free subscription that I am certain is part of the publisher’s way of building distribution numbers to offer to their marketing and advertising clients. Not real numbers when – at least one of the 200,000 remove it from the plastic bag, unfold it and place it in the recycling bin. (Ah… that is why we keep it at the front door. Old habits die-hard.)
The newsies now have handheld credit card processors and they still stand at the top of the escalator, right outside the doors of NY Penn Station. $1.25 for the Daily news and at least as of 2012 was $2.50 per daily of the NY Times. (I have no idea how much it is today, but it is enough to justify the fees and using a card swiper. I just couldn’t figure out from any of the various searches I performed online, and I checked several phrases. The latest I could get was pricing from 2012 – that or a digital or home delivered subscription fee. I guess they don’t have to promote the single edition cost…)
People still buy a newspaper?
I never liked the ink on my hands. I read it, because it was the thing to do; folding exactly in half, section by section, turning pages in that awkward but artful way, so that you were politely staying on your side of the seat on the train into NYC for work.
Now, like many, I read (what I read) online. On my phone. On my iPad. I get news when it happens. From trending sites. For FREE. Not a few dozen but countless online resources and the growing number of people who post information about what it happening, right now where they are. With their spin of course, not to say that the news was objective, ever, but if you don’t like their perspective you can read someone else’s take on the events of today. You weren’t able to do that before. You had to accept the editor’s preferences and the writer’s skill. You had no choice.
You can choose today to buy an online subscription and still get that talented, skilled, better than the average news blogger and it is much less than a single paper copy. It has value. I get it. But, on paper, I am not so sure.
How much longer will the paper last – as people have known it to be – and what will the two guys do instead of standing at the corner of 34th and 8th avenue when the Daily News and the NY Times don’t exist, on paper, anymore?
~ Dawn aka Hat Girl