Last weekend while having dinner with my parents…something struck me.
My father, who consumes more news than anyone I’ve ever come across in my life thus far (even in the field of public relations) has an absolute love affair with newspapers. He simply loves good journalism. As a kid, I have many memories of my dad taking my sister and I up to the corner family owned book store and he’d purchase everything from hometown Detroit papers to at least 6 or 7 daily papers from across the country and beyond, The Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, Las Vegas Review Journal, The Toronto Globe and Mail, The Plain Dealer, were some of his favorites and the list certainly goes on. He is proof that at one time there was a demand for print newspapers from all over the country. People like my father would happily purchase out-of-state newspapers–at a higher price due to shipping–and spend Saturday and Sundays reading local news from other cities. To think that a bookstore in Michigan (that has now sadly closed) once carried and sold such a wide variety of daily papers from across country almost seems impossible when today we just glance at our laptops or phones.
During this conversation, both my mother and father expressed their frustration over the crippled newspaper industry. “It’s how we start our day. Coffee, sitting at the kitchen table, reading the paper. We don’t wan to look at a computer,” was some of their feedback. Ironically, they are both fairly progressive when it comes to change and trends, but when it comes to their hard copy of their paper as a nuts-and-bolts morning staple–they show no sign of budging. And I am sure they are not alone.
While reading the news that the Ann Arbor News is closing, my heart ached for the die-hard journalists across the country that are facing this pain. Sure, news isn’t going away, but amidst all of the excitement about social media and the way we consume news evolving before our eyes, there certainly is vast sadness among journalists and loyal readers.
As someone who is excited about these unprecedented times, I certainly hope that there is some answer to keeping talented journalists working. Similarly, although some could argue “they are part of a different generation,” I hope we don’t deprive people who want to continue to start their day with a hard copy completely. I just can’t see a computer creating the same memories for future generations.