A few days ago I came back from a rare early-morning run and noticed an old car slowly easing its way up our street, drive-by style. The man was clearly lost. He was also delivering the Boston Globe.
That’s yet another reason to cancel our subscription to the Globe: the horrible environmental impact of the delivery guys driving around town. Add that to the amount of time I waste every morning reading the paper (which is the same stuff I’d be reading online, plus all the other crap I really needn’t be reading, like the op-eds), not to mention the actual cost of subscribing.
There’s only one and a half reasons to keep subscribing:
One: I can’t think of any other way to support many of the comic strips I love so much, especially the less popular ones like Arlo & Janis.
Half: I really hate contributing to the continuing decline of the daily newspaper, even if the Globe continues to waste too much of its resources on unnecessary coverage. (The nation and world will march on if the Globe drops its national and international desks).
Don’t stop your subscription! The physical paper is so much more satisfying. You don’t get the ads online, and you don’t get many of the stories. I love knowing that my paper is waiting every morning in time for me to take it on the train to work. And nothing beats knowing it’s waiting on Saturday and Sunday. We should be encouraging newspapers, not contributing to their decline.
There is an article actually on the decline of the newspaper in Slate, about why newspapers were so important to social movement and why they’ve been replaced:
By sniffing the bits of social currency an acquaintance had withdrawn from the pages of his daily and was trying to cash—say, a quip about that picture of an egg frying on a city street the paper published; or a comment about a movie review or comic strip; or an opinion about local government based on a piece by a political columnist—the sniffer could learn reams about his social contact.
A recent Associated Press study, “A New Model of News” (PDF), speaks directly to the social currency concept. The news can “be used in a variety of interpersonal situations—to look smart, connect with friends and family and even move up the socio-economic ladder” and “maintain relationships.”
But wouldn’t television have already become a major source of social currency? Or maybe it has already and then facebook and the rest issued the final blow.
This is a pickle. Right now, there are no good places for comic strips to be published and still make money. For environmental reasons, drop the subscription, then donate directly to the comic strip authors.