When I was a baby DJ, the Internet was still just a gleam in the eyes of many a tech geek. News came down the old fashion way, from the AP news wire. Show prep (in civilian terms, that means prepping for your show) was done in the most archaic fashion, pulling it from the wire and reading the newspaper.
I’ve always been a big fan of the newspaper. I enjoy the feel of scratchy paper and rubbed-off ink on my fingertips. I grew up reading the Detroit papers, the News and Free Press (The Freep had better comics, that’s all an eight year old cares about.) Many a day was spent pouring over the pages, not understanding what I was reading sometimes but overjoyed at the prospect of what I might learn.
I wrote for my High School Paper (The Blue & White!) and my college paper for a short time. I was torn between going into broadcasting or print journalism. I had given up my kindergarten ambitions of being an actress or the Queen. I went with, what I thought at the time, was the safer bet-radio. (Yes, that’s a whiff of sarcasm mixed with irony)
At any rate, as I began to move around the dial I’d grab my locals every day-The Lima News, The Akron Beacon Journal, The Cleveland Plain Dealer and The Buffalo News. And when I moved to NY/NJ It was like a newspaper junkie’s dream come true; it was the land of a dozen papers. The Star Ledger, The Bergen Record, The New York Post and the gray lady herself The New York Times. All could be easily folded and read on the subway. And all had a special place in my heart for different reasons.
My newspaper Jones doesn’t diminish in my travels. Of course there’s always the USA Today, which I have to say isn’t the worse thing I’ve read. I’ve picked up The L.A Times, The Miami Herald, and The Chicago Tribune, even the Las Vegas Sun. Wherever I’ve been I’ve perused the local paper.
So, you can imagine, moving to Seattle and leaving my East Coast stable of papers behind was a little daunting. I was somewhat mollified when I discovered Seattle was a two-paper town, The Seattle Times and the Seattle Post Intelligencer. With a JOA in place that is sort of like Detroit’s, the Sunday paper is a combo of both. The dailies are a bit different and unique, and it took me awhile to decide who was going to have the honor of gracing my doorstep. Call me a loon, (and many do) but opening the door in the morning to the newspaper at my feet is one of my most favorite things. It doesn’t take much for me, and my husband is constantly grateful for that.
So how to pick? The P.I’s office is right down the street, with an old school “Daily Gotham” like globe spinning atop the building. At first I didn’t really know where the Seattle Times office was, but I knew they didn’t have such a hip rooftop ornament. The P.I name was more unique; different from any paper I’ve known. The Seattle Times…well around here they’re “The Times”, and I thought at first people were referring to the only paper that will ever be just “The Times” to me…The New York Times.
In most towns, you have the conservative leaning paper and the liberal leaning paper. In Seattle, there’s the liberal paper, (Seattle Times) and the really liberal paper, (Post-Intelligencer). I don’t normally pick a paper for its politics. There are certain ascetics I’m drawn to- like layout, lifestyle section, and various syndicated columns. The New York post is ultra right, but I love Page Six. The New York Daily News has better sports. The Bergen Record was more about North Jersey and had a much better layout than the more popular Star Ledger.
And the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has better comics. Yes, the eight year old won. Not to mention my husband liked the sports section better. And I also liked the layout and lifestyle sections.
But now, just like that, The Hearst Corp. is cuttin’ the P.I loose. No more printed word, only a glowing, cold online format. I’ve been through format changes, I’ve been through staff changes, but I’ve never worked at a station that ceased to exist.
And the sad thing is, most people don’t care. Most people don’t read the dailies anymore. The ‘net is a great place, and yes I get most of my news from it these days. But it just feels like an end of an era. You can’t really fold up the ‘net and read it wherever, or tear out a recipe out or cut out an article.
And it's really hard to read the comics online.
My happy thoughts go out to all the P.I people who are cut lose. As you compete for the same jobs I’m going for now, just know that you'll persevere, you will pull through. Hopefully.
And at least some of the time, you’ll at least think you’re recovering. ☺