My favorite part of Sunday morning is relaxing over a cup of coffee while leisurely reading both the New York Times and Los Angeles Times–every section–without that harried feeling of having to skip and skim stories like I do the rest of the week, or use the speed reading techniques I learned from my 11th grade English teacher, Mr. Coughlin.
I even savor the smell of the newsprint, which combined with the coffee aroma, exudes a state of calm. But I am worried that the Sunday papers may not be around too much longer. And while the thought of sipping coffee with an iPad doesn’t exactly thrill me, I am reluctantly bracing for the future. Of course, it’s all about technology, which is changing our lives–granted, mostly for the better–and changing the media landscape at breakneck speed.
Within the last couple of weeks alone, The Times-Picayune in New Orleans told the world it will be cutting back its print editions to three days a week. That same day, three other newspapers followed suit. Like a tsunami, a few days later, a Canadian newspaper chain, Postmedia, announced that its three newspapers will be eliminating their Sunday editions.
These were not the first such actions, of course, but the pace of such change seems to be picking up speed. The shift to online news certainly makes sense from an economic point of view. It’s just that it makes me sad and I would think that there are others like me that feel the same way.
But it’s not just about relaxing with the paper on Sunday mornings. It’s quality of content, as well as
quantity, with lost columns and generally fewer investigative pieces and features. And add to that, perhaps saddest of all, is lost jobs. When the change takes place at The Times-Picayune, expectations are that about a third of the journalists will be cut.
I’d like to think that in the biggest U.S. cities we’ll always have our Sunday papers. But I guess
there’s a good chance that we will not. So as my psychotherapist wife repeatedly tells me, enjoy the moment. Sunday mornings may never be the same.
– Roger Pondel, firstname.lastname@example.org