Saturday, April 29, 2017

How I Read the Newspaper

In which order do you read the sections of a newspaper? I have noticed that different people read them in different orders. And over my years of faithful daily newspaper reading, I have found myself reading the paper in different orders. When I was a kid, I would go for the comics and then a cursory read of the headlines in the first section. As a teenager and young adult, I would dutifully read or at least skim the paper from front to back. (Apparently I was a nerd….) For a long time I would automatically dismiss the sports section from my reading, or at most glance at the front page of that section in years when local sports teams were doing well. Once a fellow passenger on a plane asked me for my copy of the newspaper (after I was clearly finished with it) but then his face fell with evident shock and disappointment when I told him he was welcome to it, but I had thrown away the sports section in the airport. Now that I have become an enthusiastic Golden State Warriors (basketball) fan, I actually start with the sports section (I know, I know…in the past I would have been shocked to read this sentence about myself!), then go to the Bay Area section, which has lots of local news and several excellent columns about politics and life. Then the Arts/Entertainment section, but read less thoroughly than in the past, and finally the front section, with its world and national news. Given that the front section reports on the most important news, why do I read that section last? Perhaps because the news is so often so grim? Actually the very last section I read, after the front section, is the Business section, and sometimes I put it in a pile to be read later. Of course all of this is becoming somewhat of a moot point, since fewer and fewer people read newspapers in print, and when people read online, I believe they read in a less linear fashion; I know I do, on the occasions that I read online. I still greatly prefer reading newspapers (and magazines, journals, and books, for that matter) in print; my husband and I linger a bit over the newspaper along with our morning coffee, exchanging sections as we go; it is our morning ritual. (He reads them in this order, usually: front section, sports section, Bay Area section, arts/entertainment section, and business section.) I know that this post “outs” (or confirms) me (and my husband) as old-fashioned, but I can live with that.
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