Monday, August 6, 2007


I had to laugh when I read the following editorial in today’s New York Times:

Today’s paper was slimmer than usual—trimmed down to meet so-called national newspaper size guidelines. The Orange County Register did this some time ago, too. It’s primarily a means of saving money while still pretending not to be a tabloid.

This time of year, of course, the papers are slimmer than normal anyway. With readership down due to vacations and retailer advertisers biding their time for the back-to-school and Christmas season rush, the pages are fewer and fewer—even on Sundays.

Newspaper readership has been declining for some time anyway. One article I read the other day attributed it to television and radio news, but I believe the internet has far more to do with it. Instant news at your fingertips 24/7 means you need never be out of touch, and all the papers have their own websites, so you can get it free.

Much has been made of the “tactile” nature of newspapers as a means of suggesting they’ll never be obsolete. We reportedly crave the ability to hold a newspaper in our hands, sitting wherever we like. I can't say I've ever felt a need to consummate some sort of physical relationship with a newspaper--something unwieldly that gets ink onto my hands.

That being said, some traditions (should I say “habits”?) die hard, and I still subscribe to the New York Times and OC Register, trudging out to my driveway each morning to pick them up and plopping myself into my favorite chair to read them over morning coffee. I do wish I could slim down as quickly as the newspapers have, though.

Until next time…


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