In another blow to print, The New York Times publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, confirms that the paper of record will stop printing ... sometime. Even though his announcement doesn't give a specific date (the rumor has been by 2015), I'm already devastated.
Admittedly, during the week I get my NYTimes online, but getting the Weekender has been an enjoyable part of my Saturday and Sunday mornings for most of my adult life. Granted, with two small children, I no longer sit with a cup of coffee and read the entire paper, but just opening it up and glancing through while snagging at least one section (if the kids are playing happily -- sometimes even three!) is an important part of my life. I'm committed to this ritual and don't want to let it go.
Did that just sound like an ad? It did, but I'm feeling it, people.
Like holding a book in my hand, like never knowing what family member is going to pick up the phone, like unfolding a map instead of listening to some lady tell you when to turn -- these are all things that I miss. Or would miss, if I hadn't refused to get a Kindle or give up my land line (which exists, but is not hooked up to a phone -- argh).
At the risk of sounding like an old-timer, all technology is NOT better. Holding a newspaper or book in your hands is satisfying. Taking your reading to bed is comforting, while taking a laptop is alienating to the other person in bed with you. Clicking back and forth on the Internet to get your news does nothing to improve your attention span. Taking the time to focus on one story, one outlet, without links is a perfect way to slow down on the weekend.
Is it any wonder when we go on vacation one of the most beautiful things about it is unplugging from all of our technology? If everything goes digital, we won't be able to kick back with a magazine, book, or the freaking New York Times without a device. That sucks.
As someone who has made more of a living writing online than print, I get the economics of the decision. I don't want the paper to fold altogether. I do want funds available for in-depth reporting. If cutting out the cost of printing is the only way to do that, well, let's just hope the extra cash goes to investigative journalists so they can do their jobs.
Still, I can't help but feel my world is changing dramatically, tactile-wise. I'll go along -- since I don't have a choice -- but I don't have to be happy about losing my Sunday paper.
Yes, I realize I sound like an 80-year-old grandfather. Harrumph.
How do you feel about no more print publications?
Image via ilamont/Flickr