Newspapers: Where Would Breakfast Be Without Them?
May 2, 2002 1:20 AM   Subscribe

Newspapers: Where Would Breakfast Be Without Them? Yeah, online is fine for dipping, checking and scanning but nothing goes with properly brewed coffee like the aroma of fresh print on paper, preferably piled high in thick broadsheet-size stacks. The Wall Street Journal's Tunku Varadajaran makes the case for us newspaper junkies. What's your daily fix?
posted by MiguelCardoso (30 comments total)
What is this breakfast you speak of? I am unfamiliar with it. You eat in the morning? My god man, when do you shower, get dressed and forcefully push a pot of coffee down your throat?

As for print, I like the good old fashioned Sunday LA Times Calendar section. I usually don't have time during the week for anything but web news, but if I have a chance, the LA Weekly makes a good read for an aging hipster like me.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:32 AM on May 2, 2002

I don't sleep in anything like a normal schedule, but when I do awake from protracted sleep, it's coffee, rye toast and a heaping hot helping of Wall Street Journal. Every day.
posted by Dreama at 2:12 AM on May 2, 2002

Yes give me a broadsheet.
The Australian ( mainly for The Times crossword )
The Sydney Morning Herald.
But above all give me an uncreased,virginal copy.Bliss
posted by johnny7 at 2:44 AM on May 2, 2002

I buy The Guardian and then try to read as much as I can before my boy rips it to shreds.
posted by Spoon at 3:14 AM on May 2, 2002

Daily Telegraph, mainly for the crossword and the obituaries (in a non-ghoulish sort of way).
posted by jackspot at 3:38 AM on May 2, 2002

When I lived in Boston and the Republic of Cambridge, I read (or read in; who reads all of a paper?) the Boston Globe and New York Times every day.

Small-town papers discourage me. When I lived in littler places, I read the paper most days, but not intently, not with any enjoyment (or I bought a New York Times if I could find one).

Now I live far from English-language dailies, so at work I select stories from the Internet versions of the New York Times, the Guardian, the Arts & Letters Daily, and various magazines, then print them and read them elsewhere.
posted by pracowity at 3:43 AM on May 2, 2002

All of them. But not at breakfast, as that'd be a busman's holiday. And yeah, for my sins, the Torygraph crossword, which I can now do on my Tube journey from Zone 3.

One thing, Miguel, I'm sure the web has (sadly) destroyed is the old expat's thing of getting yesterday's English papers on the continent. They're still there, but that sense of news washing slowly across the world has gone. I still remember getting the football scores three days late in India...
posted by riviera at 3:49 AM on May 2, 2002

From the article: Without reading your daily newspaper, you are opting out of life. Ditto for not reading the new novels, going to the movies and theater and listening to the music of our contemporaries.

Ouch... You bet I'd rather opt out of life than listen to the music of the vast majority of our contemporaries. Ditto for new novels and movies.

Interesting article though. As far as my daily fix, I'm ashamed to admit it, but MeFi almost completely took over.
posted by epimorph at 4:05 AM on May 2, 2002

[A minor diety? Is that like skipping lunch?]
posted by pracowity at 4:35 AM on May 2, 2002

I must admit to reading the independent, which has been held against me in the past. I sometimes read the daily mail to have a chuckle at the bluster that is indignantly written on most pages. I also like the evening standard as brian sewell is invariably quite entertaining.
posted by johnnyboy at 4:36 AM on May 2, 2002

Post and Times. And I miss the ability to get the NYT the evening before in Manhattan (it felt like time travel as a kid).
You can still do that with the Sunday NYT Saturday night, but since it contains Saturday's news, it's not satisfying.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:03 AM on May 2, 2002

No doubt to Spoon's horror, I snub the Grauniad and instead reach for the Torygraph. Except on Sundays, when the Times rules my afternoon in the pub.
posted by Frasermoo at 5:11 AM on May 2, 2002

I find that a single copy of the Observer lasts me the rest of the week. News section on a Sunday afternoon, then a section a day or thereabouts for the times during the week when I get to read a paper.
posted by Markb at 5:18 AM on May 2, 2002

I’ve actually shunned most newspapers in the past few years. I opt for the online counterparts. Mostly I stick to the St. Paul Pioneer Press (because of the lovely Jim Walsh) and the New York Times, but only the online versions. It's just much easier and there's no worries about getting rid of stacks and stacks of newspapers.

Really, it's a backlash after having absorbed myself in the newspaper industry for much of my 20s. I remember the days when I used to read at least four newspapers (the Milwaukee Journal, The Milwaukee Sentinel [back when they were two separate papers], The PiPress and the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram [which eventually hired me to be a reporter]) a day-- it was sort of a job requirement.
posted by jodic at 5:38 AM on May 2, 2002

I have to admit to a weekly fix - not a daily... The Times and the local Plain Dealer... Nothing like a Sunday in bed with newsprint.

Feh, I need a boyfriend...
posted by gloege at 6:29 AM on May 2, 2002

Oh, how I miss the scruffy Milwaukee Sentinel, the perfect paper for gumpy weekday mornings. (Miss the Milwaukee Journal, too, especially the editorial pages and greensheet.) The Journal Sentinel is OK, but has little of the personality either of the old papers had.

That said, I'm in Minneapolis now and the local paper I prefer, the Pioneer Press, doesn't deliver on this side of the river. So no morning news for me. But lunch would not be lunch without The New York Times.
posted by mrbula at 7:14 AM on May 2, 2002

I get The Observer (which is The Guardian on Sunday effectively) and the different bits of it last the week. I think I'm much like Markb with it, I read the news and comment on Sunday and dip into the arts, reviews, magazine sections through the week as and when I want. I keep it in the bathroom if that's a guide at all on how I believe newspapers should be read.

For the rest of the week I buy the local paper (for the sport) and read the rest online: Wash' Post, NY Times, Independent and The Times for news, plus Sydney Morning Herald and a few other Aus' papers for coverage of Aus' Rugby League.

I always check the UK sections of the non-UK papers first to see how we're seen. I dunno why I do that, it's not something I think about at all other than when I'm reading newspapers from outside the UK.
posted by vbfg at 7:20 AM on May 2, 2002

Coffee and the Internet for me. No dead-tree journalism here (not like the local papers are worthwhile anyway).
posted by StOne at 7:36 AM on May 2, 2002

Only recently did I return to reading the print versions of most newspapers on a regular basis, after having been a hardcore online news junkie and then burning out for a few months. There is something absolutely more readable about the hard copy of the New York Times. Plus, although I was always vaguely aware that the online version of the New York Times doesn't have everything printed in the city edition (which is often different from the national edition in key ways), I never realized that *those* were the stories I most liked reading. They tend to be more about New York and less about world affairs and the federal government, which are fine in their places, but well-covered elsewhere.

So, yeah, I love the feel of a newspaper in my hands. It's pleasurable. I can sit down for a good hour with the Times (and I've been having the free time to do this lately), whereas online, the layout it so substantially different, that I'm not lead to those stories without trying very hard to find them. If I have the time, I also read the New York Post, The Daily News and the new Sun. I've slowly re-revved up my online reading, which now includes the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Guardian, Haaretz, the LA Times and Yahoo's news in French.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:36 AM on May 2, 2002

When I'm at home (as opposed to at university) I speed-read the Times every morning for about ten or fifteen minutes; the Sunday Times takes longer but I've found myself reading less and less of it. Generally only the main section and Culture is any good, and I'm getting irritated about their tendency to run fantastical science stories on the back page of the main section.

We get the Guardian on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for the education and computer supplements respectively, both of which are pretty decent. The Guardian Section 2 is also quite respectable, especially Notes and Queries (which I feel many Mefiers would like).

At uni I read the International Herald Tribune and BBC News Online websites for my news fix, as well as following up all relevant stories from Mefi.
posted by adrianhon at 7:42 AM on May 2, 2002

The International Herald Tribune is hand-delivered to my door every morning about 8(a great service!, probably heavily subsidized by the CIA ), but it's much too thin to last through breakfast, so I wait till 9 when our cleaning lady brings my Público(Portuguese daily, sort of like El Pais or La Repubblica) Daily Telegraph, WSJ and Guardian. I've gone completely off The Times and don't enjoy The Independent much) , I pick up Libération or Le Monde, according to my mood, on my way to lunch.

Before the Internet I used to read a lot more newspapers(perhaps it has something to do with the fact I used to get them all free)but the advantage of being able to read the NYT and the WP on the hour outweighs any nostalgia I might feel.

Riviera: it's worse than you think. Most national UK newspapers are printed in Spain, so we get them first thing in the morning. But I know just what you mean. I still can't contain myself whenever I travel to England, France or the U.S. and buy every fresh-smelling scrap of newsprint there is. Also because they're so cheap and plentiful and appropriate in their own natural habitats.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:56 AM on May 2, 2002

I've never had a subscription to a newspaper. When I was a kid my parents had a subscription to a weekly newsmagazine which kept me more or less up to date. As an adult I've either just not paid any attention to the news or I've looked it up on the 'net.

I have never understood the "user interface" of a newspaper, and I find them awkward and cumbersome. You have to unfold their massive sheets carefully, as though you're solving a puzzle, to keep the whole thing from falling apart and leaving only a few loose sheets in your hands; articles seem to hop helter-skelter from one page to another; and there's no table of contents, so it's difficult to figure out what's interesting or where it lives. Furthermore, once you're done with it, you have a big heap of paper that takes up room on some counter somewhere and has to be hauled downstairs and dumped into the recycle-bin. What a mess!

Computer news has its own set of UI tribulations, of course, mainly coming from increasingly desperate advertising techniques. But on the whole it's a much more sensible arrangement.

posted by Mars Saxman at 7:59 AM on May 2, 2002

A few days before my wedding I found myself alone in the apartment while my bride-to-be was out shopping with her parents. Taking the opportunity to straighten up a bit, I thought I'd bag all but that day's editions of the rather large pile of papers in the corner of the living room (we get the Boston Globe and the Times every morning).

Except, they were all that day's editions....My father-in-law, who consumes newspapers like air, had brought with him that morning the New York Post, Daily News, and Times; USA Today, The Boston Herald, The Boston Globe, and to round out the northeast corridor theme, The Washington Post.

Needless to say, we are an ink-stained family...
posted by jalexei at 8:28 AM on May 2, 2002

Mars, this is why tabloids are popular in the UK. We have stubby arms.
posted by vbfg at 8:29 AM on May 2, 2002

I read the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune every day. When I was down at IU, I read the Indiana Daily Student during the week, and the Herald Times on Sunday. The Tribune is available in Bloomington so I got that too.

When I am in New York City (not as much as I'd like!) I read the Daily News and Post. I read Newsday every day when I lived there during the summer of 1994, but I don't think they publish a NYC edition anymore.
posted by SisterHavana at 8:53 AM on May 2, 2002

I read my first hard-copy newspaper in about 5 years recently. It felt...weird. I used to love newspapers, mouse was USELESS, I tell ya!
posted by rushmc at 9:10 AM on May 2, 2002

As a former paperboy*, I'll be glad to see the damn things go. I'll never forget getting up a 6 A.M. to sling the Bridgeport Post onto the lawns of lousy tippers from my orange Schwinn 10-speed in the rain. Not to mention being chased by dogs and feilding angry phone calls from 80-year-old women who were upset that their sunday edition was missing the Parade magazine insert.

Now these folks can turn on CNN or click over to their local papers web site and maybe we can come up with a new job for broke 11-year olds.

*ironically, I used the money from my paper route to buy my first computer.
posted by jonmc at 9:37 AM on May 2, 2002

orange Schwinn 10-speed

posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:25 AM on May 2, 2002

I don't eat breakfast, so I don't bother with a subscription, but one of my favorite things to do is to eat alone at a restaurant with a newspaper.

And I'm with jodic: Jim Walsh is the best music critic I've ever read.
posted by hootch at 10:30 AM on May 2, 2002

Mars: While much of what you say is true, broadsheet newspapers are not without their benefits. Once I've opened up my paper (yes, necessarily on a table) I don't have to use scroll bars or click to the next page to read all but the longest articles. I can skip between related articles with just a flick of the eye, as you can pack a lot of words onto one page. As I'm reading, the other story titles can catch my eye and my interest, whereas if I was looking down a list of stories on a table of contents, I might miss one or forget to read it later (granted, the web IHT solves this to some extent).

Good broadsheets aggregate a large amount of varied and interesting information which otherwise you might have to do some serious browsing on the web - they'll have political, business, entertainment and foreign news, along with book, film, theatre, tv and music reviews. All I have to do to read them is to turn a page.

That said, I'm still looking forward to the day when I get a foldable, full colour electronic ink broadsheet newspaper which can be updated wirelessly...
posted by adrianhon at 12:27 PM on May 2, 2002

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