Made in USA

One more quick note on newspapers, if only to annoy those of you who are weary of my fascination with the topic. In a time when shopping locally, eating locally and drinking locally is finally in vogue, albeit a bit late, the American newspaper is a product that not only is made in the USA ā€” indeed, made right in your own hometown ā€” but is reinvented, redesigned and reconstructed on a daily basis, as Hal Walter notes at Hardscrabble Times.

4 Responses to “Made in USA”

  1. Joe Says:

    Not to beat a dead horse (heck, the last paper I worked for beat more dead horses than Elmer’s), Patrick, but I always liked the analogy of the daily newspaper as the Daily Miracle — so-called because A.) It’s a miracle that it gets out everyday and B.) There aren’t more mistakes, misspellings and just plain bonehead errors than there are. Even the worst rags usually get it mostly right.

    As you say, it is completely remade every single day — not just the news stories, but the ads, the ad placement, the classifieds, the whole kit-and-kaboodle. Think of writing a full-length paperback novel each day and you get an idea of the scale of the project.

    The worst newspapers at least give you a glimpse into your community. The best newspapers, whether local, national or international, are, in essence, a daily intelligence briefing delivered to your doorstep every morning. They give you the scoop on what your local politicians are up to, for good or ill; what’s happening in your schools; who was busted; who croaked; when the local Rotary meets and what the agenda holds; how your favorite sports teams did and why (sometimes in painful detail) as well as recipes; neat features about quirky people, places and things; some comic relief — and not just on the Op-Ed pages; and even a horoscope so you can plan your day.

    All for 50 or 75 cents. I sometimes think we don’t appreciate what our newspapers really provide because they don’t charge enough. Maybe if we had to pay $1 a story or feature or more we would recognize their true value. Hey, as someone mentioned on an earlier post, many of us are willing to fork over that type of cash for a stupid ring tone. Why not the same for some inside intelligence on what’s really happening in the neighborhood?

  2. Peter Says:

    I agree with both of your points (Patrick, and Joe) but.
    I just don’t seem to be able to make the time in my day to read one, and it’s not because I am to busy watching TV, because I’m not.
    If you spend an hour a day on a train, it’s great, but otherwise….

  3. Khal Spencer Says:

    Reading Stanley Fish in the NY Times and following the demise of Higher Ed in New Mexico, I guess the newspapers are not the only institutions joining the dinosaurs. Guess I jumped ship from academia just in time to avoid the iceberg.

    Of course, such a model of higher ed as we see today has in part brought us the Ponzi schemers on Wall Street and the fools in Washington, D.C. These folks can’t think outside the box–such behavior is not on the corporate university’s agenda.

    http://fish.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/18/the-last-professor

    Stanley Fish: January 18, 2009, 10:00 pm
    The Last Professor

  4. SteveO' Says:

    What I’ve never understood about the US Presidency is why the man cannot slip a quick bully pulpit comment in here and there whenever he’s in front of the mic. He steps up in front of the press corps and before he takes a single question, he asks them, “Okay, y’all, how many of you bought a local paper today? Made in America, supporting American jobs, running the ads of local American companies… can’t beat it for value, can you? So, how many of you bought one? Hands, please!”

    Would folks just laugh at him for caring about something that’s below his pay grade?

    ‘Cause, me, if I was the Man, I’d get up there and say, “You know what our real problem is in this country? Fat people who use their grandma’s handicapped decal to park closer at Wal-Mart. They’re all over the place!”

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