Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

Why I Still Read the Newspaper

Why I Still Read the Newspaper

By Dennis D. McDonald

We subscribe to the daily and Sunday Washington Post newspaper. That gives us the home delivery of the daily “dead tree” edition, the digital editions on our iPhones and iPad Mini, plus regular “push” notifications by email. As far as I can tell there is no Washington Post app available for my original edition Kindle Fire, just the “Washington Post TV” app; I’m not interested in video since reading text is so much quicker.

I still read the daily paper version in the morning and the Sunday version on the weekend. Plus I check the digital edition throughout the day. 

What do I like about the paper edition? I can assure you it’s not the smell of the newsprint. What I do enjoy are the physical scale, the variety, and navigation ease of the paper edition.

Size wise each paper page contains up to six columns of text and a wide range of illustrations, photos, graphics, and ads. I can easily scan the pages. Things I’m not interested in I just pass by. On the digital edition I have to navigate menus and scroll the text. The latter is easy but not quite as easy as moving the old eyeballs.

If appropriate I can very easily discard whole paper sections without paying attention. Sports gets tossed immediately as are the occasional Russian or Chinese paid propaganda sections. Also ignored are full page political ads by benign sounding political groups that are either large corporations or are shadow political groups intent on disguising their corporate backing.

I usually zero in first on the editorial page, ignoring George Will, and then I scan the rest, chuckling quietly to myself that there are still folks out there who accuse the stodgy Post of having a “liberal” bias, whatever that means these days.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like the digital edition. I think it is remarkably clean and easy to manage and it’s portability can’t be beaten which I’ve written about here. But I still enjoy the paper edition, especially on Sunday when I can lift out the Outlook section to focus on my favorites, the book reviews.

I understand the environmental concerns. We recycle our newspapers and hopefully they come back to us as egg cartons — or more newspapers. I do intend to continue subscribing to both editions as long as I can afford to.

Perhaps one day the paper edition will be so expensive to produce and deliver that only 1% households can afford it. Till that day arrives I intend to keep getting my fingertips dirty from printers ink.

Copyright © 2014 by Dennis D. McDonald

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