Everyone knows newspapers are in trouble. I’ve even come across predictions as to a date certain the last daily newspaper edition will likely be published. I hope they’re wrong but I won’t be surprised if they’re not. What I AM surprised about is how easily this confirmed newspaper junkie kicked his daily newspaper habit.
I never intended to; it just happened. It started when my daily newspaper of choice discontinued daily delivery in my neck of the woods. They suggested mail delivery but I just couldn’t see myself coughing up for days old news. I tried a trial subscription with another paper but just couldn’t get comfortable with it. So, for a while, I made do with just getting the big weekend edition on Saturdays.
I was pretty much going “cold turkey” on news reporting except for the facsimile of that activity that goes on at the CBC, except for weekends. But my mornings felt sort of “empty”, so I started pecking around in the online space. Bit by bit, I got a small list of places to visit and put together a news ‘ package’ for the day that took about 20 minutes and covered general news, opinion, business and sports. It became a routine almost before I knew it.
For a guy who used to love (almost) nothing more than getting the weekend editions of all three major newspapers to spend the weekend reading them end to end, this was quite a profound behavioural change. While I do still buy and read the occasional newspaper (about as often as I indulge my weakness for apple pie), I’m definitely no longer an addict. The information I need is out there for the taking, without the waste and inconvenience of the paper residue.
Lately, my eye keeps getting drawn to those Kindle ads forwarded to me by Amazon. They’ve got me wondering whether my book habit might go the same way.