Archived Story

Jo-Ann Boepple: What fate awaits our papers?

Published 6:41pm Thursday, April 28, 2011

A recent article in this newspaper was about a bill being considered by the Michigan legislature to allow townships to post legal notices on their websites instead of publishing them in the local newspaper. Not only would this deny the public notices of meetings but also deny the newspaper printing revenue.

This seems to be the trend in print on paper. Newspaper are struggling to compete with the Internet. It is time for readers to step up and make their needs known.

Some see this as an attempt to eliminate newsprint. When I write this weekly column I often question why I do this every week. First of all, I enjoy writing for my readers. But since I am interested in helping to provide a link between the past to the present and the future, I think this is one way I can contribute and the newspaper is the perfect vehicle to get it done.

One argument mentioned in the previous article is that if it is on the Internet, print can get lost, but when it is on paper, it can be found, kept, filed and copied.

Now I suspect there is a concerted effort to cause the demise of the printed paper.  You may have noticed that not only has the amount of news in print decreased, so is the size of the paper.

This paper is eight columns and 13.5 inches wide. Some daily papers are five columns and 12 inches wide with smaller print and still another paper is five columns and 11 inches wide. The news is shrinking along with the paper.

Now if the papers go away what will we miss? I for one will miss the weekend colored comics and the daily black and white comic pages. The editorial and opinion pages will be gone along with the classifieds. Special features will disappear such as health topics, food recipes, advice columns, TV listings, etc.

Can all of these be duplicated on the Internet or TV? Probably. But what happens to those people who do not have a computer or computer access. Television can do much of this but something is lacking.

Some people are concerned about the word “going green.” Newspapers are recyclable and have been for many many years. Remember the paper drives the Boy Scouts have conducted over the years?

But there are many other uses for the papers. What will you put in the bottom of your bird cages or shred for your rabbits and guinea pigs? My mother used newspapers to protect her floors and I learned from her that after scrubbing the kitchen floor on Fridays, newspapers were laid on the floor to keep them clean until Sunday when company was coming for dinner.

Many use them to wrap precious items for storage or for packing items for shipping. The nun in the Catholic schools taught us to use the newspaper to clean windows. They work great for getting windows sparkling clean.

They have been used for craft projects. I have made Christmas trees, Christmas wreaths, ornaments and paper mache items.

When camping they make great insulation for under the sleeping bag.

Sunday mornings and afternoons have been devoted to reading the newspapers. It will be difficult to take your computer or TV into the bathroom for your daily constitutional. Nothing like folding the paper and putting it under your arm  and stalking off to the bathroom and coming out later with a relieved look on your face and the paper read.

Sadly, no longer do we hear the sound of the paper as it is tossed on the porch in the morning. Or the smiling face of the young entrepreneur who would come fresh faced to your door to collect for your weekly paper, sometimes on bicycle and often walking. Many successful business men began their careers as a paper boys.

If you feel as I do, you might want to let your local newspaper know how much you appreciate the job they do and how much you would miss them. Besides, they are one of the few bargains left.

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