Black, White and READ all over: What Newspapers mean to me

Good Monday morning, to you! I hope your week is off to a pleasant start, thus far and also that your weekend was one filled with fun and relaxation. The weather held up for the most part, so that is always appreciated, of course. The past two days seemed to pass by rather quickly, but it was good, nonetheless. Let’s do a quick breakfast snapshot, before I indulge you in today’s musing:

Breakfast (August 12, 2013):

1 container Yoplait Light Boston Cream Pie Yogurt: (I’m not sure if I’ve ever had this flavor before, but it was a decent one. I’ve come to really enjoy Yoplait Light yogurts, as an alternative to Greek yogurts. What I truly appreciate about it, is that despite it not being Greek, it still maintains a rather thick consistency with more substance than other traditional yogurts, outside of Greek. Plus, I love that Yoplait Light has so many different, unique flavors.)

1 cup Dora the Explorer Cereal: (Okay, before you laugh, roll your eyes, or maybe, both, this cereal is yummy! I’ve never had it before, but last week a HUGE box (19 servings, total) was on sale for about $1.99, so it was a steal! I’ve really been enjoying it. They are small stars, with flecks of cinnamon and are sweet, but not overly, so.)

1 cup Special K Red Berries: (As always, a tasty favorite! Sadly, I’m approaching the end of the box, but I still have the Special K Multigrain Flakes in the cabinet, so we’re A-OKAY for now!)

1 Banana (Yum! The bananas from Whole Foods, for some reason, are particularly sweet and satisfying… perhaps because they are a mere .49 per lb?! Perhaps, just saying!)

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Now onto today’s musing. Each morning, my routine is relatively the same, no matter if it is a weekday or weekend morning. Upon stumbling down the steps, I prepare my breakfast, pour my coffee, turn the news/Good Morning America on, and seat myself at the kitchen table. However, while seated at the table, not only am I eating, and listening/watching the TV, but I am also feverishly reading. Since I’ve been a young child, each morning/day, I read the newspaper – not one, but two. For as long as I can recall, my family has always subscribed to the newspaper – the local county paper, as well as the larger, national city paper. It’s been a staple in my life and in my reading repertoire, consistently since the fourth grade.

Fondly, I can recall the newspaper stacked up, near the sofa, waiting to be read by my dad upon his arrival home from work, as a pharmacist. No matter how late he returned home at night, the newspapers would be read, in one way or another. In some way, the newspaper eventually became a source of conversation for my dad and I, as we often reflected on articles written, topics addressed and what we liked and disliked. My love of the newspaper was cultivated most specifically in the fourth grade, as I mentioned above. In the fourth grade, my teacher at the time, requested each of us to complete a “Current Event.” In other words, we were to scour the newspaper for an article of interest, clip it, and summarize it in paragraph form. However, not only were we required to summarize it in written form, but we were also instructed to present it to the class, in order to confirm our understanding of the article and all it entailed. From then on, reading the newspaper became a ritual, one I looked forward to and relied on.

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My love for writing, news, media and the newspaper, in general further expanded as I grew older. In fact, in high school, I applied and was accepted as a “Reality” Teen Panelist, in the Reality Teen section published each Thursday in my local county’s newspaper. Constantly, mind was churning about what topic I would write about next and there was no greater feeling than opening the newspaper on Thursday morning and seeing my byline and article. It was a silent honor and one I very much appreciated. How satisfying it was to know that people were reading my thoughts and words. My love of writing and newspapers spilled over into my local high school, as I became the News Editor, for the school paper. Though I tend to view my writing as more creative than hard news, it was a learning experience, as I learned how to operate Pagemaker, copy-edit, and spend much of my days attempting to ace and practice “AP – Associated Press Style.” Stemming from my days at both the school paper and the county paper, I still cringe when I notice someone utilizing a newspaper as a makeshift “umbrella,” often wondering if they know how much work, dedication and drama goes into producing the paper, each day. It is time well spent in my opinion, but one that often falls to the wayside, especially in today’s day and age, where many people turn to the internet, as opposed to the daily, tangible version of the newspaper. Of course, don’t get me wrong, as I am a media and news fiend – not only do I read the two newspapers each morning, but I also closely follow the news on Twitter, Facebook and the like. I always like to be “linked-in” – no pun, intended!

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At this point, you may be wondering as to why I decided to reminisce about my love of newspapers, today, of all days. Well, yesterday, believing both newspapers would be waiting for me, to be read at my disposal, one was noticeably missing. How empty my morning feels, sans a newspaper. In a way, as odd and dramatic as it may sound, newspapers have come to serve as nearly a friendship to me, as I am quite familiar with many of the writers/reporters, the sections of the newspaper (right down to the engagement and wedding announcements). Realizing one of the papers is absent is a palpable vacancy and void. While to others newspapers may nearly be extinct, to me, they are a link to my past, my childhood and truly, where my love of writing, reading, media and journalism was more or less cultivated. It is also an area, which bonds me to my parents, because they took the time to foster the love of reading, in me, providing access on a daily basis not only to newspapers, but to books. For that, I am always thankful. Until they are no longer around (which I truly hope they ALWAYS are), I will forever be a faithful reader of newspapers, available on the internet, or not. There is just something about the tangible feel of that newspaper, the scent of it, and being able to rely on it waiting for me on my front doorstep. Though the times may be changing, with media being readily available with the touch of a fingertip on a computer, phone, etc, there is something beautifully nostalgic and traditional about being able to touch all of the words and stories by hand, whether it is a newspaper or book.

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QUESTION: Do you read the newspaper? If so, do you prefer the paper or electronic format?

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