Eternal Snooze

ruinsI know that the newspaper business is struggling. I didn’t expect that our own Planet Ann Arbor Snooze would fold. Even though it has shrunk from 4-5 sections to two in the last months. A lot of words have been written about it online and off. Reasons for doing it. How the reporters/editors/publishers/readers/whoever feel about it. The online site that is slated to replace it. I can’t add to any of that.

I have read the Ann Arbor Snooze every day for almost 30 years. I call it the Snooze very affectionately. I’m not a journalist. I’m just an amateur writer with a boring blahg and I couldn’t tell you whether the reporting has been good or not. But coming home from work to read the Snooze is part of my routine and I don’t know what I will fill that little space of time with.

At the moment, I can’t imagine filling it with reading news on-line. And I am not one of those 50-somethings who is not Internet-savvy. I’ve had a website for over 10 years. It turned into a blog over five years ago. I’m on twitter and I have been buying stuff on-line for umpteen gazillion years now. And my *work* involves designing web applications. I am on-line more or less 24/7 but I do *not* do well with on-line news. I hate the flashing ads that are on so many sites. I am not crazy about internet video, especially if I have to sit through a 15-second ad at the beginning. The mlive site that the A2 Snooze currently links to has always been impossible to navigate (although they seem to have been working on that a bit).

Being online more or less 24/7, I *like* reading a paper after work. One made of newsprint, that I can hold in my hands. A minute or 10 *away* from the damn laptop(s). But I am still conflicted. My paper recycle bin is *filled* with newspaper every week. Not to mention all the add flyers that come *with* the newspaper. My habit is to pick up the newspaper and immediately remove all of that stuff. I know that some people like to read it.

I have more questions than I can articulate. How many trees are cut down to provide printed newspapers to umpteen gazillion people every day? How will the many talented reporters who are being let go by failing print newspapers find meaningful, gainful employment? I think most of those folks know that blogging is probably not the answer, at least not totally. What will happen to those elderly folks who look forward to a daily paper and are not on-line and will probably not ever be? And and and and….

I know I will miss having a print newspaper to read every day and my last question is who originally purchased the domain name and when/how many times has it changed hands. Sigh.

11 Responses to “Eternal Snooze”

  1. Rey Says:

    i know this does not really answer the proposed questions, but I believe/hope that a lot physical newspapers will reemerge in a smaller more neighborhood based form, focused on local issues, employing local writers and not subscribing to newswires. Television, the internet and the few large national newspapers will handle national news, but demand may bring back a legitimately local newspaper. Or so I hope.

  2. Jay Says:

    One of the two major Seattle papers quit their print version last week. It had been in business forever. We still have one, although it has gotten quite a bit smaller as well. I can’t do the crossword on the computer, just not the same.

  3. L4827 Says:

    As a frequent newspaper readier we agree. With all of it (newspaper references). The blog here is interest inspiring………
    Looking foreword to a campfire sourced blog this shipping season. Let us not forget, that the source of this campfire comes directly from the source of local knowledge, the A2 news. The A2 news sparks the kindling which makes the campfire come ablaze. And the knowledge which spurts around the campfire thereafter is . . .

  4. isa Says:

    i, for one, am sad about this!

  5. Tonya Says:

    I have so MANY mixed emotions about this. I came *this* close to going into print journalism, and if I had, here’d I’d be in my early 50s on the outs. I’m also a newshound. For years I’d spend my lunch hour half reading a newspaper, and half reading a book. I’m still a newshound, but over the last several years I’ve become an online ho. I do totally agree with your nix on this: I hate the ads, and hate the video (except for Rachel Maddow’s segments on, but still hate the ads). But I do love how current the online news is. I recognized years ago that newspapers were on the bubble, because the news would be OLD by the time you read it. I hated feeling that way; I love the feel and smell of a newspaper like I do the feel and smell of a new book. But I’ve moved on to a Kindle (and honestly don’t terribly miss real books) and I haven’t subscribed to a newspaper for years. This newspaper decline has been in the works for a while now, and here we are. It’s very sad, but I’m afraid it’s inevitable. (Kind of like the death of the typewriter). I do especially worry about the journalists. I could have been one. Who would have ever expected their demise?

  6. Dog Mom Says:

    I, too, am sorry for the demise of the printed newspaper. However, the last straw for my taking a home delivery paper was years ago, when the boy across the street was delivering them… and instead of being on my doorstep when I got home from work, the paper wouldn’t show up until as late at 7:30PM. I complained to the paper, got a nasty call from the kid’s mom (“He has to go to speech therapy!”) and I killed off my subscription. Frankly, if the paper comes after the national news, what’s the use of reading it?

    I also got tired of getting the Sunday paper (huge), then pulling out all the ads (100% of which went straight into the recycle bin), pulling out the classified, sports, and real estate sections, and only having a very thin stack of sections to then rummage through for anything that might be “newsworthy” or even of general interest. When the time arrived where I spent more time culling the crap out of a $1.50 Sunday paper than I did actually reading it (excluding the comics section), I stopped purchasing it. That was the end of the newspaper era for me, when I had to get out the magnifying glass and tweezers to find the news (not counting all the stories about murders, arsons, and general crime in that lovely city of Flint, MI – and NOTHING about my little suburb at all).

  7. Pooh Says:

    You know, it’s just really hard to do papier mache with the internet news! Not to mention training puppies, lining bird cages, and as Sam will verify, keeping weeds out of your garden.

    I’m saddened to hear of the passing of the Ann Arbor News, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, at least in paper form. St. Louis lost the Globe-Democrat years ago, although the Post-Dispatch continues on. (Don’t be fooled by the names, the Globe-Democrat was the conservative paper.) I will admit, that it is nice to be able to search for news online, but the newspaper has so many resonances in memory.

  8. Dog Mom Says:

    I look forward to the time that the printed newspaper is re-invented, as mentioned by Rey (above), as intensely LOCAL papers. The current (becoming extinct) versions have relied too heavily on the identical newsfeeds used by the live broadcast media. If they focussed on local interest, maybe we could return to the days of people getting out more and actually INTERACTING, because the local events won’t be buried in fine print in Section H/page 10 next to the obituaries.

  9. kayak woman Says:

    I have to make my own comment that I don’t necessarily care how I get *breaking* news. Actually now that I think about it, I probably get most of my news (breaking or otherwise) from NPR. But sometimes the newspaper has a few more details or a slightly different take on something. In any event, it’s nice to just sit down with a piece of paper in your hand and read at your leisure.

  10. Margaret Says:

    I love my newspaper and wouldn’t be without it. It often goes into more detail than the internet news, and I love holding it in my hands along with a cup of coffee. It’s the ambiance! My 80 year old dad loves his paper so much that he’s fallen on ice twice in the past couple of years going out to get it at some horribly early time. I am sad about the PI and that our culture seems to be turning into mini-news-bite junkies.

  11. Pooh Says:

    After posting my comment yesterday, I saw the paper where Mark had left it on the dining room table. It looked different. It is not as wide as it was last week. I dug around in the recycling bucket, and sure enough, it’s about 2-3 inches skinnier. I had noticed that they had changed the layout of the comics/puzzles sections, on Monday, but didn’t notice the reason why. They are adding more local news. Maybe they’re lurking around the blogosphere, waiting for KW to tell them what to do! 😉