A good laugh and very true. But somehow kinda sad, too.
Save the Presses!
OK Internet, just try replacing newspapers in these situations.
By Beth Teitell
Boston Globe Sunday Magazine
May 17, 2009
A recent survey by the Pew Center for the People & the Press found that fewer than half of Americans, 43 percent, say that losing their local newspaper would hurt civic life in their community "a lot." Even fewer, 33 percent, say they would personally miss reading the local newspaper "a lot" if it were no longer available.
So, now we know: The way to save newspapers is not to repeat the same quality-based arguments every time another paper closes or slashes staff. News, shmews, it turns out. No one cares about the sanctity of the news. We need to make the case on grounds that actually matter to people. Let's talk about how life would really look without newspapers:
1. In movies, whenever a damaging or shocking story appears in print, someone slams a newspaper down and shouts, "Just look at this! We're laughingstocks!" or "How did they find out?" Try that with a laptop. The main character will spend the rest of the film on hold waiting for IT to help repair his hard drive.
2. You can shed a tear right now for the iconic ransom note, with letters clipped from newspaper headlines. What's a kidnapper to do? Print out letters at home using different fonts and point sizes?
3. How are concerned neighbors supposed to figure out that the little old lady who lives alone is sick if the papers aren't piling up on her doorstep? And how will burglars know which houses to target?
4. Not that anyone will be able to move to a new home in the future anyway, but even if they could, they couldn't. No more newspapers equals no way to safely pack up glass and grandma's hand-me-down china. Let the papers die, and your tableware goes down, too.
5. This could all be a plot by the paper-towel industry to end the practice of cleaning windows with newspapers. Follow the money -- I sense a Da Vinci Code-esque plot.
6. You know all that money you're saving by not shelling out for a subscription? Well, put it aside for a good umbrella. You'll need it the next time it rains without warning. Holding an iPhone over your head won't exactly cut it.
7. Papier-mache will never be the same. No big deal, you say? Good luck when your kid's homework assignment calls for making a model of Earth or an erupting volcano.
8. Where will cubicle-dwellers find "clever" headlines to cut out and post over their sad little work areas -- "Mission Accomplished" or "Bill Succeeds"?
9. As if house-training a puppy isn't already hard enough, in a world without newspapers, the dogs will really be in charge. And bird owners, free your winged friends now or prepare to be cleaning floors 24/7, because you won't be able to line their cages.
10. Get ready to live in an increasingly dangerous society. With gumshoes on stakeout trying to hide behind Kindles instead of newspapers, criminals are sure to spot them right away. What will we lose next? The trench coat?
11. And finally, if not by recycling the papers, how will we demonstrate to our neighbors that we really are trying to save the planet?
- May 17 Sun 2009 23:17