Print Matters. Never Doubt It.

Look at this: 

Here we were, 4 in the morning, stumbling around the winter lawns of Hingham like three blind mice. That doesn’t sound stupid. That is stupid.

That said, all those hours in the car and furtive creeps up pitch-black driveways gave us perspective and appreciation, both for the people who deliver our newspaper and those who read it. Whatever they pay the delivery people, it’s not enough, and it’s more than a little depressing to think this debacle has been brought about by a desire to pay them even less. Whatever I’ve tipped delivery people in the past wasn’t enough.

And rather than be upset by all the complaints by longtime subscribers about abysmal service, it was actually heartening to realize how much so many people look forward to their Globe every morning. The least we owe them is getting the paper to them promptly. It’s on us. It’s all on us.

Look at that. If you’re doing something important, if you’re telling good stories, people want them. Print, online, skywriting, graffiti … if Serial was scrawled on the side of a building in one-sentence increments every day I’d go there and read it. There are still print ‘zines that thrive. Tell me a good story instead of boring on about what medium you need to tell it in.



One thought on “Print Matters. Never Doubt It.

  1. In the 1970s at various times, I had paper routes for each of the three daily newspapers that served my little town in Oregon’s beautiful Willamette Valley. That sentence alone shows the deterioration of the daily newspaper, no? These papers were delivered from a bicycle, not a nice heated automobile.

    From my first route, for the local afternoon paper delivered Monday through Saturday, I remember one customer in particular. He was on disability and probably didn’t have two spare nickels to rub together. He’d pay his $2.00 monthly subscription charge the first time I went to collect every time, with an extra quarter for me. That impressed me with what an important job I had, at least for some of my customers.

    The second route, for the Oregonian, I had a customer who told me that if his paper wasn’t on the front porch by 5:30 a.m., he wouldn’t subscribe. When I went to the local supermarket parking lot to get my day’s bundle of papers, I’d grab one out of the bundle and make a special trip to his house to make sure he got his paper first thing in the morning. He was a good and loyal customer the entire time I had that route.

    Yeah, print mattered once upon a time, and so did service. They still matter. Maybe if a writer or two (or an editor or a publisher) took on a paper route for a month, they’d get a refresher course in that.

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