Yes, I know I’m going against at least 250 grains, the general drift and the zeitgeist, but I’ve gone back to the future. For the first time
in my life since 1987 I have subscribed to the print edition of a daily newspaper. The International Herald Tribune to be precise. Over the last five years I have increasingly hit my very tight, very niche RSS feeds for news before I ever glance at the BBC, NYTimes or Guardian front pages. As a result, I’m less informed. The Twitter feeds from NYTimes World and IHT are very useful – they don’t overwhelm like some other newspapers – and I regularly click through to read more on a story I first see there, but… over time I have come to realise the way I have configured the internet to deliver me my news has made me an expert in some areas, but ignorant in far too many more.
I got into the habit of picking up the IHT whenever I passed the local newsagent. A newspaper the size of the IHT is manageable, it’s readable, doesn’t break the delivery boy’s back, doesn’t beg you to bin sections, advertising supplements and the countless other bits of throwaway claptrap that stuff newspapers with non-news stuff. The IHT is news on paper. There’s a beginning, a middle and an end. When I go to a newspaper website there are umpteen beginnings, a gazzillion middles, shedloads of ends and more than a few deadends. I don’t read the news online, I reject what I don’t want to read and read what I think I want/need to read. I simply miss too much, too often and don’t get enough depth in a logical manner from the internet. RSS feeds are invaluable for my work and interests, podcasts are great for niche news interests, I don’t really watch TV and so, I’ve come to the conclusion that until news on the internet is as readable/logical/intuitive as the print item I’ll stick with the deadwood edition while it’s still around.