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  • Writer's pictureLucas Friesen

An Ode to the Newspaper

You won’t find this article in any newspaper. That’s because they pay people to write in those. A little financial incentive can go a long way in writing. That’s why newspapers are still important today. You can go online and read whatever you want. But if you want well written, well researched articles, and you also want to learn something, look no further then a newspaper.

The analog nature of a newspaper is its greatest benefit. I look at screens most of the day, it’s a truth I’m not proud of. But with a newspaper I can get my news without the screen. I don’t need to click a link to see an article, they are all there before me. I learned in a high school English class that the eye picks up subtle pieces of information just by seeing words. Not reading them, glancing at them. That’s why some believe speed reading is an effective study tool. You don’t need to read every word, but by seeing every word your brain is somehow taking trace pieces of knowledge from what is written. Newspapers let you see it all, and I find it to be more exploration friendly then a website. A website may have more content, but it’s hidden behind clicks. Do I click on this, or do I click on that? The newspaper lays it all out for you. It says, “here’s the news, all the news, you pick what you want.”

Newspapers also streamline content greater then any online news source. I can log into my Facebook and see all the events in Vancouver; there’s about ten each night. How am I to pick? And how am I to know which ones are legit and which ones I will show up to and be the only person there? The newspaper streamlines this content and boils it down to the major, most noteworthy events coming to town each week. They always include events you may not have heard about, but may be interested in. And again, you don’t need to click through three webpages to find the information you want, it’s all within the article: time, price, and location.

Newspapers can be big, but they rarely contain filler. Their articles are beautiful examples of using only the space needed to tell the story. Some are only a small blurb, some are multiple pages and span multiple days. If a story only requires a paragraph, that’s all it’s going to get. If President Trump says something outrageous, they write what he wrote and what happened. There is no panel: I hate the panel. Whenever something controversial happens, television news not only reports what happened, they also discuss it with five other “experts”. Why bother discussing it on television? So people with no opinions on the matter can take Anderson Cooper’s opinion and use it as their own? Probably, but that does not promote critical thinking in our society. I may not like this, but many people do. The newspapers understand that and include opinion and comment sections. I like that it is included, but I usually skip over them. Like I said it’s all in front of you in a newspaper, but it doesn’t mean you need to read it all. You see it, you know it’s there, but you only read it if it interests you.

A newspaper is like a book in that it is subtle. It does not barrage you from a bright screen with moving advertisements. It does not talk to you and it does not get interrupted by commercial breaks. It sits there on a table. I decide if I want to learn what’s going on in the world, it’s never forced upon me.

Reading a newspaper promotes open-mindedness. I do get some news from online sources, but I only get news on things that interest me. But the truth is, I don’t know what interests me. I go online and I read about new music or new movies, but when I pick up the paper I learn about those things plus politics, finance, war, and sports. It’s an all-encompassing news source that helps me keep my mind open to the world. It helps me be aware, and it reminds me that it’s a big world out there with a lot of moving parts. We get compartmentalized by our interests online, and I don’t like that. The newspaper shows it all to me and lets me decide what I like and what I don’t like on any given day. Plus, it comes with comics and crosswords. A little joke here, a little puzzle there, it’s good for digestion.

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