Thursday, July 3, 2014
Cup of Joy
The newspaper is very much so alive
“The newspaper is dead, and everyone knows it except for the ones in the newspaper business.”
This was an opinion I heard long before I began working for the newspaper. It didn’t sit well with me then, and it certainly doesn’t now.
In an age where the Internet and social media are our main sources of information, communication, and conveyance of ideas, this is not a surprising sentiment.
Before Barry hired me to work for The South Reporter, he asked me if I would be able to update the paper’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Hoping that my reply would not make or break his decision to hire me, I gave him the only logical answer – the truth.
“Honestly, Mr. Burleson, I’m a stamps and letters kind of girl. If someone wants to get in touch with me, I say drop me a note in the mail and let me get it three days later.”
I realized that hearing this from someone my age must have been a little startling and possibly unsettling for him, but I continued.
“I don’t do Facebook. I don’t do Twitter. I don’t do Instagram. I don’t do Tumblr. I don’t blog. And I don’t Snapchat.”
With a little uncertainty in his eyes, Barry slowly asked me, “Do you do email?”
Wanting to assure him that I was somewhere in the 21st century, with a giggle, I replied, “Yes, and I also text. I’m a champ at those.”
In this time, normalcy is the fast, the quick, and the painless. Instant gratification. Whatever is easier, sleeker, lighter. Less time consuming. Less thought-necessary. If we can’t access it on our smartphones or tablets, we don’t have time for it, so we continue watching TV or updating a Facebook status.
I’m a written-notes kind of girl. I write everything down – by hand. I entered a local business my first week working for The South Reporter, and if you’ve seen me around town, you know I usually have a yellow legal pad with me.
Upon entering this business and talking to the charming owner, I began to skim through my yellow pad of notes. I glanced up and found this businessman staring at me with raised eyebrows and a sideways grin. With a fair mixture of sarcasm and humor, he said, “You know, iPads are amazing things.”
If I had it my way, I’d carry a typewriter with me everywhere I go. I love the look of the print as it stamps mechanically across the page. I love the way the keys feel underneath my fingertips. I love the sharp click of the keys, the “ding” letting you know that you’ve completed one line of your painstaking project. I love the smell of fresh ink and clean paper, so new that if you’re not careful, the ink smudges as you hold it in your hands.
It’s the manual-ness of it - knowing that some exact effort, an art, has been put into what you’re doing. It’s not easy, but that’s what makes it real for me. It’s in my hand, and I’m holding it – touching it. It’s not abstract. The words on the page mean more to me when I can physically hold them and see where the ink has been pressed.
This is why the newspaper is so important to me. Yes, you can find us online – we have a wonderful e-edition. Yes, we have a Facebook and Twitter – like us and follow us. But remember the importance of holding something in your hand. Remember the importance of local news – it’s what keeps us connected. Remember The South Reporter – without it, I wouldn’t know many of you.
The newspaper is not dead. It is very much so alive. Remember it.
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The South Reporter
P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
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