I Don't Speak Yawn

I was never really a newspaper reader, growing up. Well most people aren't as 12-year-olds I'm guessing; I mean I never grew into the kind of person who would read the newspaper, although I admired those that did.

In undergrad I would read the Tampa Bay Tribune's free daily newspaper entitled, "tbt." It was sort of news lite, if you will. Very local, plus comics and pictures from around the world. It broke up the workday; working outside at a picture booth at a slow ride, the two or three of us (including or boss) would consult together, glancing over each other's necks, struggling to finish out the Wednesday or Thursday crossword under the guise of actually working. I did develop an attachment for the tbt, but that was the closest I've ever gotten to following a newspaper. 

I think, as odd as it sounds, that it's the newspaper's sense of mass appeal that makes me admire and abase it. To read the paper nearly cover to cover would require the kind of mass general interest and knowledge that went akin to an advanced liberal arts degree; to show the same understanding and appeal to economics as art and leisure, national news and sports always struck me as genteel. Laissez faire. The kind of person who could drink a latte with their morning paper and not have their hands shaking as they think about the seven billion things they have to remember before they bolt out the door, again. That person is not me. Here I've found the paper inefficient; why am I holding the Business section when I have no interest in the stock market? Did I seriously just pay for this—I'm not going to do anything with the sports section except line my trash can with it. Golf does not move me.

Which brings me to my biggest issue with the paper; its expense. Spoiled as I am by the tbt, I can't imagine paying more than 50 cents for a weekly paper, or a dollar or dollar-fifty for the Sunday edition. The concept of however much I'm paying equaling the cost of the reporters writing the stories and the rent of the building plus the actual printing machinery and materials is clearly over my head. 

Although of course, this is a wonderful excuse to buy a tablet to read the news I'm guessing, as print media becomes electronic media. Now if only that could make the NASDAQ more interesting.