Monday, December 8, 2008

(Early) New Year's Resolutions (1): Subscribe to an old-fashioned, hard-copy newspaper

I used to get the daily Washington Post, but I haven't subscribed to it for a long time, because: 1) I get my news in other ways; and 2) I kept thinking I was about to leave the area. Reason (1) still holds, but (2) hasn't occurred (i.e., I'm still here), so come 2009 I may very well start subscribing again.

Why? Because the newspaper industry is in trouble -- witness the bankruptcy filing today of Tribune Co. -- and I don't want newspapers to go out of existence. Call me sentimental, I don't care. If every consumer decision were made on the basis of pure rational calculation, society would be worse for it. So strike a blow against homo economicus, wherever you live, and if you don't get a real, hard-copy, old-fashioned newspaper delivered to your door every day, consider starting. It's too late to save a lot of newspapers, but some of them should survive -- and survive in real, tangible form, as things you can pick up and read without having to turn on the computer and look at the screen.

2 comments:

Sverre said...

I sympathise with the argument, unfortunately subscribing to the daily newspapers in Norway is out of the question for me out of environmental concerns and the hassle. The reason is that your average daily newspaper around here carries with it more pages of advertising inserts than it does news. That's just too much paper going right into the recycling bin.

I do however subscribe to a more "serious" weekly newspaper that doesn't have this problem.

LFC said...

Interesting. There aren't many serious weekly (as opposed to daily) newspapers in the U.S. However, I believe the Christian Science Monitor, formerly a daily, is switching to a weekly edition. That might be an alternative I should consider.