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Column: Why can’t we have both the Internet and newspapers?
by Loran Smith
April 18, 2013 04:31 PM | 8501 views | 1 1 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Loran Smith
Loran Smith
We are about to leave the chill of winter’s hangover — not with regrets but with anticipation of spring’s sunshine and balmy temperatures, which will offer more opportunity for outdoor recreation.

We can play golf and tennis, grill out and segue into nightfall spent, but relaxed and upbeat. That is how, I believe, most everybody feels. With the days getting longer, we get to do more things outdoors.

If you are active, you welcome such opportunity. While I am sure that I am in the minority, I am not so happy about leaving winter. I know that before the spring soothes and stimulates our emotions, there is the awareness that summer’s heat is not far behind. But the thing I miss when winter takes its leave is a fire in early morning with a cup of coffee and the newspaper.

Most cynics, especially those my junior, would scoff that before long I will only have two of those three to joyfully behold. I am reminded almost daily that before long there will be no newspapers. When you think of the fact that printing a paper and getting it delivered is not cost-efficient, you realize that pragmatically the cynics are more in step with the current trend than those who appreciate the newspaper tradition, as I do.

The Internet is fine, but it doesn’t have to destroy the daily newspaper. I’m going kicking and screaming simply because of the aforementioned thrill of the early morning triumvirate — fire, coffee and the local paper. I can’t get that with my computer. My argument is, why can’t we have both — the Internet and the newspaper?

If the newspapers begin charging for the Internet delivery, as they should have all along, then us diehards may have something to hold on to. There are other benefits of the newspaper. You can’t clip a story from the computer.

Your offspring’s wedding pictures, published online, are not nearly so heartwarming as they are when they are printed in the society section. If your son is a touchdown hero, isn’t it more exciting to see his accomplishments chronicled in newsprint than on a cold, impersonal video monitor?

A newspaper can be likened to personal letters. If you are recognized by the governor or some charitable organization, which would you appreciate more: a personal letter or somebody banging out an impersonal email, complete with errors, typos and an underlying message that reflects, “I’m just getting this done so I can move on.”

When is the last time you received a personal, hand-written note for something? About the worst thing the cursed side of technology has brought about is the emergence of thank-you notes via email. Anybody who does that ought to be tarred and feathered.

You lose a member of the family and you have a friend who would have you think he or she deeply cares about your loss. When confirmation comes by email, you have to wonder about the sincerity. My frustration is that the written word takes on a different cloak when it comes from a machine.

I’d rather see a column in print than on a screen. I’d rather see a book in print rather than via Kindle. Books should never go out of style; neither should the daily paper. You may have seen where Warren Buffett, the wizened investment guru, said he was buying up regional newspapers because of their inherent value.

People appreciate the fact that if they have a child who achieves something significant — like the completion of a successful 4-H project — it is covered by the local paper. There is still a place for such coverage.

The view here is that the newspaper industry made some poor decisions about the time the economy was struggling but that they will find a way to remain viable in their communities.

One more thing about the importance of newspapers. You can’t take your computer to the bathroom.


Loran Smith is an administrative specialist for the University of Georgia sports communication department. You can reach him at
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Roy Wronker
April 19, 2013
Where to start....while I respect Mr. Smith and have respect for all he has accomplished, this article shows his age and lack of insight into these new tangled technologies. I'm sure he wrote this for his "over 80 readers" because it was extremely irrelevant to the majority of Americans. I am a 57 year old person, so I can relate to his longing for the old days, but resolve to never stay stuck in them.

The fact that I am typing this on an iPad ( a portable computer that you can take in the bathroom) and the fact that at the bottom of his article shows that I can share this with friends and family, only shows his reluctance to accept and embrace a better way of life.

When I was 10 my art class drew pictures for an ad for our local dairy company. Mine was lucky enough to be picked and published in the newspaper.i was proud and cut out the ad to save forever. Unfortunately, that copy is long since lost over the last 47 years, except for the digital copy of the newspaper that I found online. I now have a copy of that original artwork for my future generations to enjoy and laugh at and it will never yellow or tear.

Remember the past with warm memories, but embrace the future or else suffer the smirks of your grandchildren.
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