Status Update: Value of the Printed Press

Newspapers seem to be filling some type of nostalgic void. People don’t want to let go of these ink-scented packages because they are a major part of history. As is customary in America, it’s not unusual to preserve the past. This is why so many towns like Savannah, Georgia where buildings of great age are left standing tall to be admired. Newspapers add to the idea that some part of history is still being used today, but let’s face it, is it really beneficial to our lives in the modern world?

By the time you buy your newspaper, the stories have already been uploaded online and have probably received several updates. For instance, through television news coverage and online news updates I can follow what’s going on hour by hour in a newsworthy event. Not to mention, the many handheld devices that can download news applications that even customize you’re news gathering experience. You can decide what news you want to receive, what type of updates you want to be notified about, and still browse through the other stories if you’re interested. At this point, as a person being part of the future workforce of America, I’m finding that my uses for the print newspaper have been limited to saving money with the included coupons and to protecting my tables from paint, glue and glitter during my crafting endeavors.

When it comes down to saying goodbye to newspapers, we can easily apply the classic line, “it’s not you, it’s me…” but let’s face it, in any relationship, no one wants to say that! We don’t want to let go because it’s a sign that technology is one-way street with no return, and as accepting of innovation as we are, change is also frightening.  Just like when people are faced with growing up, giving up a piece of the past that’s causing no harm is painful. In fact, it hurts my own heart knowing that the last time I read through a newspaper was in the sixth grade for a mandatory class assignment.  

But are we really ready to move on? Even I can’t deny the sense of pride I feel when holding on to a newspaper clipping, there is something unique and authentic about holding on to a moment in history that way. Who wants to power up a computer to print a story that’s meant something in your life? The simple texture and print of newspapers matched with the fact that someone worked to produce the story and physically distribute it adds even more value to the story itself. I believe that this is why we can’t let go. Despite its old age and the overwhelming preference of on-the-go constant updates, my computer, my cellphone, and my handheld device cannot replicate the experience that reading a newspaper offers. Within all that black and gray is that sentimental and sometimes personal feeling of history that only a newspaper can provide.

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