Newspapers were to this news junkie as the smell of roasting coffee beans are to the coffee addict. The fact that I’m both a news junkie as well as a coffee addict is probably coincidental since I started to drink coffee at the age of 14, a good three years after I became a news junkie.
Initially it was news of TV stars and rugby players. Then it matured into news about the country and the world.
I didn’t enjoy the ink staining my fingers though. Being a small person also meant that I had to fold the paper at least in half to be able to read it comfortably.
My Dad used to bring the paper home each day and I grabbed it after he’d finished with it. I always enjoyed picking up the paper after it had been read once, the pages a bit creased and the folds not as straight. They were already softened so that its folding was much easier for me to do.
The only part that I wanted to crack open first was the Sunday Times comics section and I made sure that I grabbed that after my Dad had separated out the sections of the thick paper and started on the main one.
When news became available online I migrated naturally to that medium. I enjoy not getting my fingers stained and no longer need to fold it to make it more comfortable for me to read.
I like the fact that I can get the news at any time of the day instead of waiting for the end of the day, or the next day. This is especially true if you’re on Twitter – news breaks on Twitter before it makes it to the online papers.
Our town delivers two local print newspapers each week to all households. Che reads it and tells me the local news and scours it for specials. Because these are free to all residents, they rely on advertising income and each week’s edition is crammed full of adverts for furniture, groceries and clothing stores.
The growth of online newspapers does mean that traditional print is in jeopardy in the long run, along with all the functions and people along the value chain of newspaper printing and sales, and that includes the newspaper vendors at the traffic lights. This provides employment to a lot of people and it would be a shame for this source of employment to dry up.
My Dad has also migrated to online news on his iPad, although he still buys the Sunday papers. When I visit my folks on a Sunday I’m taken back to the days I became a news junkie and looked forward to reading the daily newspaper.