Sinning Against Print Journalism


Something's been gnawing at me, and it's time to come clean about it. After 18 faithful years, I have cancelled my daily newspaper subscription.

The decision didn't come quickly or without angst. And I still feel a heap of guilt for abandoning my journalist brethren during their time of greatest need. These talented writers, editors, photographers, advertising and business people attended journalism school, like me, but chose a more traditional career path.

For many of them, it hasn’t worked out so well.

Part of me thinks I should just bite the bullet and continue to do my part to support a reeling industry. Sort of like an annual donation to UNICEF, but without the tax benefit.

The other (more vocal) part of me, however, believes that cutting the print cord is a logical way to shave some daily living expenses without requiring a whole lot of sacrifice.

Like so many others, I now consume the majority of my news online, in real-time, with no cash outlay.

Newspapers have a tough sell with those of us who don’t clip coupons, shun scrapbooks, and couldn’t care less about Dear Abby or Doonesbury. Instead, we prefer to access – and interact with – an endless virtual stream of headlines, weather, sports, business and entertainment options.

So far, I’ve adapted quite easily to my life sans newspaper. Occasionally, I wish I could thumb through the print edition to find a specific sports or business article, but most times, it’s just as easy to access it online.

Honestly, the biggest negative outcome of my decision has been one I wasn’t anticipating: I now get numerous telemarketing calls trying to woo me back as a subscriber.

But I’m afraid this train has left the station.