The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

Have We Reached the End of the Newspaper Era?


I remember grabbing my Silly Putty, and pressing it against the comics in the Sunday paper. It allowed me the momentary satisfaction of grabbing the ink from the page, laughing, and then balling it all up again. It annoyed my dad if I did this before he was done reading through the funnies, but I didn’t care, and I really don’t think he did either. My dad, sitting at the kitchen table each morning with coffee, toast, and the newspaper is one of my more noted childhood memories. In fact, in my 32 years, I cannot remember a time where I didn’t wake in the morning, or home from school, or college, or over to their house for dinner, where I didn’t see that day’s newspaper neatly folded up on the kitchen table. Unfortunately, this era seems to be coming to a close.

Today it was announced that The Oregonian would cut its delivery days to three days each week – Wednesday, Friday, Sunday – and begin moving to a more digitally based Newspaper. Not only will they be cutting deliveries, but they will also being laying off several staff members, and moving out of their iconic downtown Portland office building. Their new online edition, MyDigitalO, will be available to all subscribers, and a Saturday paper will be delivered with the Sunday edition. I guess toast and coffee will be had while attempting not to spill it on the digital device that many will turn to for their news.

I understand that the news world of the older generation is starting to falter. The news is immediate now, and before anyone can set pen to paper, or words to the teleprompter, someone has posted something to Twitter, or TMZ has thrown up a link, or a random pedestrian has tossed up a photo on Instagram. It’s the new news; it’s flashy, and moves within the ADHD world that in which we’ve entered. A story comes, a story goes, and the newspaper is too far behind to matter anymore.

Last summer I sat in a restaurant with a friend, and across from us, a mother and son sat together, reading the newspaper. The kid couldn’t have been more than 10-years-old, and it was such an amazing sight, that my friend leaned over, and thanked the mother for teaching her son how to appreciate words on paper.

As someone who loves Twitter, and rarely sits down with a newspaper, I feel a bit mixed on this. I enjoy the speed of the internet, but at the same time, there is something classic about sitting down on occasion, flipping open a newspaper, and enjoying something a bit longer than 140 characters.

The Clark Kents of the world are running out of time to save the Daily Planet, but really, does anyone care anymore?

About Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin spent more than a decade in Education as a high school English teacher, and is now an Instructional Coach for the Longview School District. He is also the founder of The Poetry Question, an online journal which focuses on reviews of small press poetry publications, and runs a regular series called "The Power of Poetry," where notable poets share their personal stories of how poetry has affected their lives. Margolin resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, and daughter.

One comment on “Have We Reached the End of the Newspaper Era?

  1. kiwiskan
    June 20, 2013

    We still get a daily paper delivered. They can be read on line, but it’s just not as satisfying – especially on Saturday morning!

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