Does Print Matter? It Does to Me

As an old-school lover of newspapers, I’m particularly thrilled to have a double-page spread with a bonus Brownie-era photo published in Sunday’s New York Daily News.

That a black and white snapshot my 30-something father took with his Brownie Starflex in 1958 is now splashed across two pages of New York’s hometown paper in a whole other century, delights this former hometown girl to no end.

My article landed in the right place

To a lifelong lover of paper, it is particularly meaningful to have a hard copy of a story I wrote.

Say what you will, print still matters.

To me.

Sure, the feel, and smell of newsprint are primal, but it’s the permanence of it, that matters to me.

An avid collector of ephemera, along with hundreds of boxes filled with a century’s worth of vintage magazines I also collect newspapers past and present. The mundane and the momentous, the tragedies and the celebrations of the twentieth century as portrayed in print seem vital to me, even as newspapers themselves are on life support.

Newspapers, once our main source of receiving breaking news still remain for me tangible evidence of the facts. Seeing history in black and white makes it real for me in a very visceral way.

There is permanency in print.

Unlike sound bites that disappear into the ether,  print allows me to linger, and return again and again.

And I confess, reading articles online pales to reading them in print.

Ok boomer, I can hear millennials say in a generational rolling of their eyes.

Don’t get me wrong I get most of my news from the web, on my computer, my tablet, and more often than not my iPhone.

I love the immediacy of the web, the far and diverse range of audiences it reaches, and how it generates immediate feedback creating interchanges on Twitter and social media.

But newsprint focuses. There is no scrolling and clicking. It blocks distraction. Reading online I comprehend less, often forgetting why I clicked on a page and start randomly clicking on outside links until I’m tumbling through cyberspace like a marooned astronaut.

Paper is grounding.

But for those who don’t live in New York, please enjoy my story ….




  1. I read newspapers because I don’t want my news filtered by an algorithm directing me to similar articles. I want to see the whole newspaper page, so my eye can stay to topics that cover the whole world. After reading the articles that first catch my eye, I often read the entire page. Did I pick up the paper intending to find out what’s happening in Sudan? No. Do I care about Sudan? Yes. Reading about a fire in my neighborhood does not mean I only want to read about local disasters. It’s a big world, and a computer screen is relatively very small.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Having worked in the broadcast industry it meant writing articles for the TV Guide in Canada, my College newspaper and a local newspaper dedicated to the music industry. Reading the daily newspapers was a must before going live on the air. Later I published 112 issues of monthly magazine. It was the smell of the freshly printed papers and magazine that I always used my nose to let me know the work was done. Feels a bit odd Sally with much of that work in archived libraries across the country. Printed papers make the news feel more exciting and alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Call me a dinosaur, but I still read the NYT editorial and Op-Ed pages every day in a real printed newspaper. There’s something visceral about seeing a double spread of articles and being able to pick out which ones to read first. You don’t get that same effect on a computer or iPhone screen. And one other thing. I can go back and re-read a printed article (provided I saved it) and still get the same feeling I had when reading it for the first time. A digital article, once viewed, plummets out of sight, much like a Facebook post, never to be seen again. My dinosaur eyeballs and brain, sometimes can’t adjust that fast. Printed newspapers must never be allowed to simply disappear.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: