Wednesday, March 18, 2009

When I was younger, and my commute to and from work was a little longer, I used to read the Washington Post cover to cover, and I even had a set routine. To me the Sports page was the centerpiece of the paper, so I'd tease myself and not read it right away, thinking that the longer I delayed it, the better it would be once I finally laid eyes on it (I think I use this tactic regarding "finishing" sex too..). Anyway, I'd start with the Style section, where I'd read about the hottest entertainer or I would casually glance at a review of a CD I was considering purchasing. Then I'd gravitate to the depressing Metro section where I could catch up on who got shot, the corrupt police department, and a feel-good, warm and fuzzy mom and pop store. Then I'd read the front page, where I'd get my international and national news. I wouldn't read every damn story, but I would read enough so that if asked, I could have a little something intelligent to say about a broad range of topics. But the sports page was the crown jewel of the paper to me.

The sports section at the Post housed my two favorite writers, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, and I would try to read their columns first and foremost. Then I'd delve in the scores, the numbers, the beat writers etc. But then a funny thing starting happening...People stopped reading newspapers, and they preferred to read books, magazines or printed articles from the internet. All of a sudden newspaper readership dipped and dipped, and great columnists that had been with newspapers for years and years, were either bought out or they gravitated to television instead. For me personally, my commute became shorter, so I stopped going to the newspaper vending machines, and I just read certain articles on the internets.

I feel myself rambling, so let me get to the point. By this point next year, at least 3 or 4 major newspapers could go under. You'll hear people the blame the recession, but that's bullshit because that industry (along with the automobile one) was on a decline prior to this monstrous recession. I don't know what the answer is, or how to reverse this trend, but it just makes me sad. I've been reading the newspaper since I was 5, and now, barring a miracle or a brilliant rescue mission, they will slowly go under. What the hell am I supposed to do on Sunday if I can't read the paper? How will great stories and great writers be immortalized if a computer crashes and the data can't be retrieved, and there's no newspaper?

I have no answers, and I have no point. This is just a knee jerk reaction to me hearing that the Boston Globe is near death. And then on top of that, one of my favorite local writers who covers the Washington Wizards for the Washington Post, Mr. Ivan Carter, is leaving newspaper, to be a television host. How dare the internet and television usurp my favorite medium like this?

Pretty Baby - Eric Benet
Dedicated to my lady (whose name I've managed to not mention all this time..pretty impressive) who turns 36 today. Happy birthday to you, and thank you for deciding to rob the cradle by choosing me.


Chubbs said...

I feel your pain. I flinched also when I heard about the Boston Globe, and then the Seattle Intelligencer, and the list goes on. I work in web media--but still understand that print is a powerful medium, and for many of us, preferred. Are that many folks cancelling newspaper subscriptions, and reading it all online??

Ryan said...

Rashad - I've been following this newspaper thing closely over the past few months and it's nothing short of shocking. Check out these links:

The list from Yahoo! is simply scary.

rashad said...

Ryan, that IS depressing..and I just look at it from a sports perspective. What happens to all of those beat writers? And does this widen the scope of who receives press passes? This should be interesting.

rashad said...

I think people still ready Sunday papers, but I think fewer people are buying paper mon-sat. I know that's the case with the Wash Post.