Many old television shows show some of the younger characters on the living room floor in a prone position reading the comic section of the local paper. As we would get older, the attention would go over to the sports section where they would devour all the stories, box scores, and standings. Or we would want to see the latest in entertainment stories. All this would happen while dad would catch up on the news, and mom would see what specials the local grocery store was running. This is a picture of Americana.
As we grew up, we would see pretty much the headlines covered on the evening news. We would need 30 minutes for local news and 30 for world and national news. Most of the analysis of these stories would be in the next day's paper, along with the rest of the news. Now we can go to one of many channels and catch up on any developing story and by the time we read about it in the paper, it's history.
In the past generation, the number of newspapers have declined greatly. Most metropolitan areas had two papers, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Cleveland lost their afternoon newspaper in 1982, when the Press ceased publication. That was one of many papers that have gone under in the past 30 years.
Now the trend has begun for newspapers to go digital and just be available online. I feel that the metropolitan dailies will eventually only be out 4 days a week, Thursday through Sunday.
I think that the small community newspaper will be the eventual survivor as they seem to be the only ones with a personal touch. The local Girl Scout cookie sale, trivial in the metro daily, is news in the small community weeklies.
In the town I live in we have a paper called The Post. There are several editions that are delivered in a four county area. It's printed by Trogdon Publishing. In 1975, Bruce Trogdon printed the first edition of the Chippewa Valley Messenger. This was a paper that was mainly classified advertisements. This later became the Trading Post, then the Post. What started during a recession in 1975, has experienced it's latest surge in the current recession.
I'm also partial to this paper because I've had several bylines, stories taken from this blog.
There are stories written in the small town pappers that would never make it in the larger circulation papers. My inlaws, who moved to Ohio from West Virginia in the fifties, get a paper from her home town, called the Clay County Free Press. One story that recently published was about a man who had died. He was buried with his pick up truck as he specified in his will. Another story in that edition was about this man who didn't get zoning in his favor by the county commissioners. He had been storing bottles of drinking water for the counties in one of his barns in case of emergency. He took the water to the parking lot of the county administration building and set the pallet in the middle of the lot. The county then offered water to anyone who wanted it.
Just something special about reading this stuff from a newspaper instead of online.