This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Dwindling State of Newsprint

I know the economy's down. Prices for gas along with groceries have skyrocketed in recent months-- along with nearly everything else.

Another mysterious thing? Packaging.

It isn't my imagination. Boxes of cereal are shrinking and it's not that the "contents have shifted" as they claim. We're getting less cereal for the same price or more. It's happening across the board-- ice cream, too. Half a gallon? No more. Now it's 1.5 quarts. That means the box is melting before the ice cream even hits the freezer aisle.

It's happening with the newspaper, too-- at least The Los Angeles Times. Recently, I recycled nearly 2/3 of the paper-- all ads/classifieds/etc. before I even began to read what little was left.

I know that people are going to the internet in droves for everything from shopping to reading the news and job-searching. I know that newspapers are going through tough times, but every day that the quality goes down and the paper shrinks in size is another day I question whether or not I'm going to renew my "Weekend only" subscription.

At first I thought it was my imagination. Maybe I just didn't get the Los Angeles Times Magazine in the Sunday paper this week. Then, it didn't show up again. Now, I don't even know if it exists anymore. Pretty soon, the Travel section disappeared. Then the coupons dwindled down to nothing. As a reader, I was advised to print free coupons online!-- at my own expense. (With the price of ink cartridges along, doesn't that negate any savings I'd incur?) Most recently, the Calendar Guide that comes out on Thursdays was axed. The Times claimed that it wasn't being discontinued, but instead was finding a new home online.

Well, you know what?

I don't want to go online to read the stupid guide. I don't want to go online to read the entire newspaper. I'm online more than I'd like for many reasons-- many of them out of necessity of living in this wired world. What I like least is reading online for extended periods of time. I detest it. I look forward to times when I can take a walk or hold a book or flip through a newspaper just so I can be away from the computer. I like the look of print on a page. I like the smell of newsprint. I don't even mind the occasional smudged fingers. None of the things that really touch my senses can be replaced by technology. There are some things that still need to be experienced hands-on. There are some things I still need to touch and taste and smell for myself. If that means smudged fingers, so be it.

Photo credit: cat on newspaper by hokiecsgrad/flickr
Copyright © 2008 KLiedle

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