Part of my routine each morning is to bring in the paper and read it over breakfast. My kids think I’m a dinosaur, and I realise that we paper readers are a dying breed.
There was a recent price rise, which forced me to rethink whether keeping this habit was worthwhile, or just a waste of money.
I don’t like the fact that there is more and more advertising and less column inches. I don’t like the fact that a lot of the stories are reprinted from other papers. I don’t like the fact that there is not an editorial every day.
But I have decided to keep getting the paper because it forces me to consider other opinions.
In these days of social media and news feeds, it is too easy to only read articles and comments which align with my beliefs and biases. The suggestions and feeds which come up on Stuff, YouTube, and Facebook are the result of my browsing history, and I have watched these suggestions become narrower and narrower.
So, if I limit myself to only reading those things, nothing challenges me anymore. Nothing causes me to think about issues in a new way. Nothing can offend me. That is not a good situation.
We all need to be poked and prodded from time to time. We need to think about why we believe certain things, and whether those beliefs are still valid. Conversely, we also need to be ready to challenge other points of view we can’t agree with in a way that is logical, thoughtful, and considered.
To do this, I read the news articles that are sometimes boring, the opinions from people I ordinarily wouldn’t listen to, and the sports write-ups for codes and teams I don’t follow.
Plus, the other reason I love the paper is because I still like to make a “cutting”. If I find something that I think someone else is interested in, I will cut it out and pass it on. I gave one to my son the other day and he responded with, “I saw that online last week”.
Perhaps I am a paper-reading dinosaur. But for now, to be so suits my way of thinking.