Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Morning Without the New York Times

We canceled our subscription to the Sunday New York Times. This morning was the first Sunday morning we didn't crunch up on the little loveseat by the window with our cups of coffee and divy up the fat package of paper and dive in: Travel for Sue, Arts and Entertainment, the front section, and the week in review for me, and the magazine was up for grabs.

I felt bad about it. I've been reading the NYTs for years. I used to say, if you want to a good education, read the Times every day for a year, and at the end of that year you'll be a changed person. It's great reporting--still is, that's undeniable despite many people's disdain, ambivalence, and apathy towards the Mainstream Media (MSM). If a bridge falls down, the Times not only reports the facts of the bridge collapse, you learn about the engineering and construction of that type of bridge, as well as a bio of the architect who designed it. It was, and I think for the most part still is, intelligent, in-depth reporting.

Still, we couldn't justify the $30 a month we were paying. That's $360 a year we could have put towards our travel fund. And, we're so active, and many times after a few articles were read and discussed, the rest of the paper lay on the coffee table for the rest of the week, ignored. We had the best of intentions in mind; we intended to read it all. We just never found the time.  It was just wasting money.

And it's so much easier to find the news and reporting and commentary on the Internet, including the Times' own site. The times they are a changing for the news industry. And I used to freelance as a journalist/columnist, and I loved every minute of it, but I'm not sure of the direction newspapers should take. It's not that you can even get the news cheaper (free) or easier, it's that you can look into an issue more in-depth. There's the Times, the Globe, the Herald, the BBC, NPR, CNN just for starters with the MSM. Then there are the main overseas outlets, then the alternative outlets.

It's ironic that we canceled our subscription right when the shooting in Tucson of Representative Giffords occurred. And it's even more ironic that I first learned of it on Facebook.

1 comment:

The Witty Fool said...

I appreciate good writing, good journalism (even contemplated that as a major once), but I find the waste of unread newspapers an anathema to my environmental conscience.

I've never subscribed to a newspaper, just picked them up when I felt the urge (like on days of infamous history - or, honestly, when I had a review).

Oddly enough, though, I subscribe the NYT feed on Facebook these days. I've read their articles almost daily as a consequence and realized... oh yeah, so this is what I was missing all that time. I still won't get the paper copy, but I try to make it one of the links that I click on each day I'm lingering at a computer screen.

I don't know if that helps or hurts the dying industry... but at least I've contributed to one less death of tree by paper.

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