This post is a product of a conversation I had with Samantha after watching John Oliver’s piece on Last Week Tonight.
Newspapers across the nation have been on a slow and steady decline. It’s something everyone knows and everyone has an answer for. Just get up with the times you say! Or…
The newspaper is late
The newspaper doesn’t break news
The newspaper is boring
But I’d argue it isn’t those things. It’s so much more. Newspapers are still relevant and here’s why…
Newspapers do local
Newspapers cover local beats, something internet will never be able to fully duplicate. These local beats can lead to uncovering of who-knows-what… I mean, who didn’t love Spotlight? This type of investigative reporting just cannot be done by online publications. With the changing winds of staying up on trending topics, they cannot devote the resources and make money. Newspapers don’t have those time constraints, and it allows them to spend the time doing in-depth reporting.
Newspapers are still a significant part of our news
This is the point John Oliver made that really made me think. I regularly go to the website Digg, which aggregates articles. I searched and sure enough he was right: many of my favorite and most in-depth articles originated in newspapers. Without them, Digg and many other similar sites would lose a big source of info.
Newspapers have standards
Unfortunately we’ve forced newspapers to become more like other online publications, so the line isn’t what it use to be. But newspapers have editors and local accountability within and outside the organization.
Not everyone is in a place where it makes sense to subscribe. But I was shocked at how cheap it was to actually subscribe. For the cost of both Samantha and I to eat at Qdoba, we signed up for digital access + the Sunday Oklahoman. Supporting newspapers isn’t supporting a dying industry. It’s supporting a public service that’s needed in the fast-paced internet world: it’s holding us and our leaders accountable at a deeper level. I’d encourage all the newspaper moguls who are sure to read this post: stick to your guns. Without you, a key piece of democracy is missing. And I don’t like the future without it.