My husband got the mail the other day while I was out shopping. This is always bad news. Ninety-nine percent of the time he takes no interest in the bills, advertisements, and solicitations that cycle from mailbox to trash or file. But on the rogue days that he does, it just means we have to have a discussion about what we’re being charged for various things, their validity, and whether we should have an audit of our spending, and poof, twenty minutes of my life is gone that I’ll never get back.

On the particular day in question, the main object of discussion was the renewal bill for our newspaper delivery. Despite being long-time subscribers, the N&O routinely tries to raise our subscription rate. After successfully lobbying them to reduce it last year, we’ve just been informed that they’re trying to raise it again, to $24 a month.

And as usual, he questions whether we really need to be getting the paper daily, although he already knows my response and, in truth, agrees with it. Then I throw out the argument about what we’re paying for his Sirius subscription, something he says we can get rid of but which, in truth, is simply not true. Some things are just worth the expense, like Sirius’ ability to keep him sane during his daily I-540 drive to RTP which, in turn, just makes life easier for me.

The thing is, I believe reading the newspaper daily is absolutely essential. Absolutely. I’ve read the paper daily since college and while the quality and quantity of content may have taken a hit over the years due to the difficult nature of the industry, print media hasn’t gone away and for that I’m grateful.

Whatever b.s. you might or might not believe from the snake oil salesman currently residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, journalism is not fake news and it’s appalling that so many people are being led to believe that it is. It’s true that legitimate journalists make mistakes, and I fully believe the 24-hour broadcast news cycle has brought nothing good to our society in any way whatsoever. But print media is different.

Maybe I’m biased because I’m a writer and I’ve written for print publication, but there are all sorts of stories covered on a daily basis that are pretty important. Print newspapers provide what social media and online content cannot – the knowledge that what you’re reading, on paper, in your hands, is as legitimate as it can get. Someone is putting out money, effort, and time to print a paper, to deliver it, and they stand by what’s in it. It hasn’t been forwarded from some unknown source. It’s not opinion (except for the Op-Ed page of course, and please – learn the difference people). It’s been researched. It’s accountable. And plus, there are the comics.

And being a little judgmental here, I’m pretty shocked at the number of people who don’t read the paper regularly, and how many people are blissfully unaware of the things going on right under their nose in the communities and state in which they live. If only people in this country were as passionate about newspapers as they were about guns.

So, I will shell out $24 a month if need be, to receive the paper seven days a week that is dutifully delivered around 5:30 a.m. by our extremely reliable and dedicated delivery person. I will walk out to the end of the driveway with the dog, collect the paper from the other side of the invisible fence and give it to him so he can take it up to the front door for me, thus having earned a treat and his morning ration of pacific salmon kibble.

And I will sit at the table and read it, in order (purists do not read section C before section A), cover to cover. I might be judgy of the writing style in some of the stories and I might sigh over an editing mistake. I will likely rant about something I’ve read or force my husband to listen as I read an excerpt out loud. I will consider what I’ve read, and I will most certainly cite something from an article in a future conversation with someone.

Yes, without a doubt, I think the $24 is worth it.





Categories: This and That

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