We did something big today, something I never imagined we would do, but it was time. We cancelled the newspaper. I guess there are fewer and fewer of us who even subscribe to the paper anymore. I don’t think any of my adult children do. Maybe home delivery will die out with Baby Boomers.
I have been thinking about all the years I have enjoyed getting and reading the paper. When we lived in Dallas and even when we moved to Tulsa, we took both the morning and afternoon newspapers. The morning paper we read rather quickly, just to get the news. But when the afternoon paper came it was a time to sit down and relax and read more of the features. Maybe work a crossword puzzle or read Dear Abby. We relied on the paper to tell us what the weather would be tomorrow, what was on television tonight, and what was on special at Safeway. We needed the daily newspaper. Even the classified ads were interesting. Remember the personal column?
When I was a little girl I spent large chunks of the summer with my grandparents. One of my favorite memories is sitting on my grandmother’s porch swing with her as she read the afternoon paper (The Dallas Times Herald). She would usually cut an apple for us, and she would read the comics to me and then read the rest of the news to herself. It was a time when she rested from her domestic activities and was still. And I could snuggle up next to her.
I guess in the history of the world, the ways we have gotten news have changed over time and have largely been driven by technology. Before the printing press was invented, news was transmitted by word of mouth. Surely that couldn’t have been very reliable. Newspapers became the primary means of journalism in the 18th and 19th centuries. Then came radio and television, and now we can transmit news instantly via the Internet. I was reminded the other day about newsreels that were shown in theaters before the feature film. My grandmothers both had sons who fought in World War II. I can imagine them sitting next to the radio or watching those newsreels, hoping for some good news. Then later we all tuned in to Walter Cronkite or Huntley and Brinkley to get the day’s news. The first time I can remember constant news coverage of an event was when Kennedy was assassinated. But even then our newspapers were important. Now we have the 24-hour news cycle and it sometimes drives me crazy. I really don’t want to see Adam Schiff’s face again! And is it any more reliable?
I hate to see the demise of the written word. Even though I get a lot of my news from the Internet, I have to scroll past videos to see something in print. While I will miss the idea of the daily paper, I’m not sure there is very much reality left to miss. The Tulsa World has gotten thinner and thinner, with more ads as fillers. By the time the news is delivered to my door, it is old news. I have already watched it on television. And it keeps going up in price. It just doesn’t make sense to spend so much money on something that often goes straight into the trash. I realize by cancelling my subscription I am becoming part of the problem, but it just isn’t worth the expense any more.
I would be remiss if I didn’t say a word about the Good News, the Bible. Even though it was written centuries ago, it is still fresh and still relevant. Everything changes, but the Word of God never does. It always gives me just what I need for my day.
“The grass withers and the flower fades, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” 1 Peter 1: 24b
So goodbye, Tulsa World. I’m breaking up with you. Maybe I will change my mind and come back if you are still around, but don’t count on it. Thanks for all the memories but for now, I will have my morning coffee with the Good News.