My Guilty Pleasure: The Newspaper

My morning ritual involves three things: coffee, snuggles with my daughter Grace, and the newspaper. I’d fight pretty hard to keep any one of those addictions, so all this talk lately about newspapers moving online has me worried. You may ask, how can I justify getting a newspaper 7 days a week? That’s a lot of paper which amounts, over years, to a lot of trees. I know, that’s why I call it a guilty pleasure! But living a “just” life is never black and white, so here’s my rationale.

Justification #1: Reading a “paper” newspaper creates a calm morning breakfast atmosphere. A computer does not.

Reading the paper instead of whipping out my laptop at 7am keeps me unplugged in the morning. The minute the laptop comes out I launch into “work” mode. Emails pop up, my mind starts racing and my quiet morning is gone. My attention goes away from my daughter and husband and onto the work of the day. Keeping my focus on our quiet family ritual of breakfast together, even if it does involve reading the news, is important to us.

Justification #2: Can I trade gas for a newspaper please?

When I worked full-time outside the home I got most of my news from NPR on the radio. Now I work from home, therefore drive much less, therefore save on fossil fuels. Surely there’s some kind of trade off between the gas I’m no longer using and the trees I am consuming through my paper? And of course I recycle every single newspaper.

Justification #3: I hate the Oregonian’s website.

Our local paper’s website, to be frank, stinks. It’s hard to navigate, visually unappealing and full of busy, flashing advertisements. One more aspect not conducive to a relaxing morning breakfast time. On the other hand the print version of The Oregonian is easy to find your way around and gives a good balance of local, national and international news (OK, the international could be better, I’ll admit).

Justification #4: I stay up to date.

I am generally well-versed in current events, both local/ national and global, thanks to our newspaper. I’ll continue to resist reading online for the reasons above and I no longer spend enough time in the car to get my news from the radio that way. As theologian Karl Barth advised, Christians should have the newspaper in one hand and the Bible in the other. It’s important to me to stay up to date and the print paper works best for me to meet this goal.

So what do you think? Is the newspaper important to you or do you find you can get your news online just as well?  In our home the newspaper is staying put for now, but in the near future we may not have that option if and when everything moves online. I dread that sad, sad day.

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