The future of newspapers may lie in their past.
I have not bought a hometown newspaper for a decade. I haven’t read a whole one in years. I do occasionally read the article which just happens to be facing up on The Globe and Mail abandoned at Starbucks while I’m waiting for my four shot American Misto. I rarely touch the paper itself. That’s not because I’m a germaphobe — although I do have tendencies in that regard — it’s a subconscious holdover from the days when the ink used to come off on my fingers as I hungrily turned the pages of the The Vancouver Sun on Saturday mornings when I was a kid. I am also struck by how small the pages have become — sub-tabloid size and not much larger than an 11 by 17 sheet of paper. More of a news flyer as opposed to a broadsheet of old. More colour, perhaps, but less colourful.
When you think about them in the context of the all-digital, all-the-time 21st century, the mere notion of a newspaper is utterly absurd...
Listen to the rest by clicking the play button, above. The text version of this essay can be found on Medium where it was published contemporaneously. The exquisite key image for this episode is by Photo Kozyr / Shutterstock. The image has been slightly cropped to fit the Fireside format.