[OPINION] I Still Subscribe To A Print Newspaper

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by G.E. Miller

If you grew up in a household where your parents did not subscribe to a local newspaper, there’s probably a good chance that print newspaper was never ‘alive’ to you.

But what if you did grow up in a house with a newspaper? Have you ever subscribed on your own? Do you still?

The decline of the newspaper industry has been well documented. A number of newspaper companies have shut down in recent years, including the one in my hometown (only to be replaced by an online version with 2 weekly print editions). And I still subscribe to it.

Why I Still Subscribe to a Print Newspaper

Sometimes I feel like I might be one of a very few Gen Y’ers who actually subscribes to a print newspaper. I read a ton of news online as well. But I grew up reading print, and I still enjoy it. For $9 a month, I receive 8 papers per month delivered to my doorstep. Here’s why I do it:

  • The Feel. Call me crazy, but I still love holding a paper, flipping the pages, and even the routine of seeing it and grabbing it off my doorstep. A new article delivered to my feed reader on a computer screen just doesn’t have the same effect.
  • It usually pays for itself. We mostly buy generic groceries, but now and then we’ll find a good coupon for an item that we don’t have a generic alternative for. We probably save $7-8/month from these coupons. We’ll also find local restaurant deals occasionally in the paper.
  • It helps me escape my computer. A print paper forces me to slow down and prevents me from getting sucked into digital land for a few hours. My wife and I will usually both read it (which we rarely do online), and it allows us to have a conversation afterward.
  • It forces me to think local. There is no way that I would consume all of the local content on my computer. A paper, in a way, forces me to do so. It keeps me more in touch with what’s going on locally in my community. That’s never a bad thing.
  • The cost isn’t slapping me in the face. Unlike my old phone bills or cable bill, $9 a month isn’t incentive enough for me to cut the cost. Sure, It would add up to over $100 a year… but is that justification enough to cancel my subscription? Not in my book.
  • Good will. In a small way, I do feel like I’m helping out the local economy by supporting the people who work at the paper. I’m not doing this out of charity, I actually like the content and see the value, but this is still an added ethical benefit.

Until print journalism finds a way to thrive online, I do think our nation’s democracy is threatened a bit by a lack of journalistic integrity, should print newspapers completely disappear. You’ll notice that I didn’t list this as one of the reasons that I subscribe, but it is still food for thought.

Anyhow. I feel like I’m party of a dying breed of Gen Y’ers. If I’m not, prove me wrong in the comments and poll below.

Do you Subscribe to a Print Newspaper?

Do you currently subscribe to a print newspaper? (take the poll below)
If you don’t subscribe at the present moment, have you ever? Why did you stop?

Do you still subscribe to a print newspaper?

Yes. Always have.
Yes. But only recently.
No. But I used to.
No. I never have.

If you find yourself reading this on a mobile device, stop and dial #250 right now and when you get the cue, say “newspaper”

Newspapers are a part of our culture and and print journalism remains a vital service in this hotwired, half-witted dysfunctional democracy.

20somethingfinance.com author G.E. Miller writes one of the most popular personal finance blogs in the world and he actually subscribes to a print newspaper…


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