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2015-01-22 / Telling It Like It Is

Telling It Like It Is

We’re NOT A Dying Breed – No Matter What ‘They’ Say!
By Dara Mormile

Stereotyping newspapers as a “dying breed,” is just that – a general assumption that readers no longer want to pick up a paper to get their news. Despite the popularity of e-things and the internet to get your news – and the benefits of checking updates of news stories online – print publications have a certain quality about them that technology based news can’t compete with.

If you acknowledge the fact that France’s satirical publication Charlie Hebdo sold over five million copies of their controversial newspaper last week, you’ll understand why print newspapers will never die. Anyone can go online and see why Charlie Hebdo’s deadly issue – showing a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad – sold out on many Parisian newsstands. The Daily News showed people waiting in line for the paper and other outlets show readers who bought multiple issues - possibly to save a few copies as historical memorabilia.

There are so many reasons why communities – especially ones like Canarsie – need print newspapers. Whether it’s due to the exclusive stories we publish that you won’t find in bigger publications, or the fact that you’ve been a subscriber for years, there are lots of benefits of buying a print paper.

Clippings Are Historical: If you’re reading the Canarsie Courier and catch a photo of yourself, a friend or family member who accomplished something or received an award, it might be a photo and story you’ll want to keep. Those who enjoy nostalgia will save the page or preserve the entire paper to remember the milestone – or to simply show someone else years down the road. Ever notice how tacky it is to print out a story from a news web site on 8 1/2 x 11 paper from your printer and try to preserve that? Half of the time, you have to hope the web site has a “printable version” that does the story justice and that the photos and captions aren’t in strange locations on the printout. Let’s face it! The printouts you get online are nothing like a newspapers’ hard copy.

Do Away With Passwords: So…You sign on to a publication’s website to which you’ve subscribed. Sign on? When you buy a newspaper in the store, you don’t have to log in, ‘forget your password’ or, hell, remember a password! Getting a hard copy of a paper or magazine, unless it’s days and weeks old, ensures you’ve got the news in front of you to read without typing something in a box or jotting down user names and passwords – and you won’t get any of those “server is down” messages while you’re opening each page of a publication. Other publications only allow you to view a story online during a certain window of time – or, like the Courier, it’s not available until a few weeks later until you subscribe. Those who want to read news NOW can get it without waiting if they pick up a print edition.

Commercials Are For Television: Most people who watch news clips on social media are forced to open a link that shows you a commercial before you even get to the main story. It’s getting more and more tedious to follow a story online when you have to “wait 30 seconds for your story to load” while you’re forced to not look at detergent or car insurance commercials. Buying a newspaper or magazine means YOU choose when you see advertisements – whether it’s waaay after reading the main stories or…not at all!

A Sign Of The Times: I’m sure there are parents and grandparents who want to pull up artifacts from the “old days” – including periodicals from when they grew up. Try saving (in a physical location) a link to a story that’s over a decade old! In most instances, unless it’s a well-archived online paper, the link will probably change or relocate if the web site has updated their look or undergone renovations to look more modern. Believe me – there’s nothing like thumbing through an actual paper that shows a sign of the times, including old advertisements, fonts that no one uses anymore and typesetting that demonstrates a no-longer-used form of creative flowing text.

Young whippersnappers might turn to their iThings for “news” and we might see a slow-down in the appreciation of print media, but there’s no denying that holding a paper in your hand – specifically when it comes to a special edition of a publication that you want to cherish for years to come – never goes out of style!

Want even more in-your-face insight? Check out my blog at http://dtellingitlikeitis.blogspot.com/, where you’ll find past “Telling It Like It Is” columns as well as new and unpublished works. Also “Like” my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DLikeItIs. Feedback is welcome!

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