Newspapers got smacked right in the kisser during 2020. Due to submicroscopic infectors that took up residence in human cells all over the world, many people faced an unanticipated lull in making a living. Or even living.
But newspapers, which were going the way of horse-drawn carriages and fountain pens anyway, suffered enough to lay off employees, cut back on pages, reduce print runs, distribute to fewer locations and shorten office hours in order to keep the doors open.
Did you know that according to the Pew Research Center, 60 percent of adults read a local newspaper each week, and of those, 73 percent read the whole paper?
That means that millions of people are not idly reading a headline or two on their smartyphone, they are sitting down with words someone else wrote. They spend an average of 39 straight minutes reading about their community.
Last week in The New York Times there was a story on copyeditors and how they strive (obsess) over getting everything just so. Editors don’t want cranky children or their grandparents calling up and saying, “You misspelled Febyouary.”
The article pointed out that doctors get to bury their mistakes but newspapers have to own theirs. They must correct errors. Obviously, the best way to avoid that is to make every word as right as you can get it. Then, make the paper look good. Then print it, pay for it, and give it away.
So why do it?
Well, why drive? Isn’t driving a full-on activity that gets you from here to there with only great music to accompany you? No. Driving is what you do when you want to think harder than you have all day. It’s when you know you shouldn’t speak to one more human before you spend a good hour playing with animals, watering plants, counting stars and telling yourself you’ll mop the kitchen floor tomorrow or Thursday next.
Why get out of bed in the morning? Because something you don’t want to miss could happen. To you!
Why buy a lottery ticket? Beats me.
Hey, did you know that the #5 reason people read newspapers is to avoid conversation?
Again, why do it?
We can only answer simply and inelegantly – we do this because a local newspaper is fresher, easier, more contentious, entertaining and relaxing than mental telepathy.
When global exhaustion hit it was hard to decide whether to be devoted to discipline or frivolity. We see that battle being fought every day. Some want everyone to wear a mask, some want to sit in a bar until the governor puts a stop to it, some won’t leave their house, some think what’s unimportant is important. We are all different, different, different.
For us, fun is when we’re doing what we love doing. Fun is never overrated. We really can amplify our modified lives by preferring fun to fear.
We believe events, opinions, thoughts and even dreaded meetings are interesting to the public. We believe that nearly all people are fun, especially the intolerant ones.
Thanks for sticking with us 50 weeks a year, thanks for not holding your breath and turning blue because someone forgot to change the answering machine message thingy on Dec. 23 and when there were 29 messages yesterday someone else accidentally erased most of them.
That’s why we put out a newspaper instead of calling a meeting. It’s fun!