Julia Duba/Staff Writer
I walked toward the Glenn Hubert Library at about 8:13 a.m. after missing the Golden Panther Express shuttle for the third time this semester. Having accepted the fact that I could sit back and calmly read a chapter of my assigned reading for the next 5 hours, I noticed The New York Times stacked high in front of the library.
I looked at the newspaper stand, the papers stacked almost taller than me with copies of The New York Times.
It was still early in the morning, so nobody else had picked up a copy to glance at the front-page picture and then throw it away in an FIU mixed recycling bin (hopefully).
I grabbed a copy at the top of the pile and, yes, looked at the front-page picture. Then I walked up the stairs, glazing over a few headlines about Syria, President Barack Obama, and Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s offshore tactics.
As I prepared to unzip my laptop case and get started on my emails and check Facebook, I noticed a headline on the front page that intrigued me.
In an attempt to fulfill my obligation as a journalism major to read more news and perhaps feeling a little guilty for shoving the paper aside to make room for my laptop, I started to read the small print. Before I knew it… “Continued on Page A3.”
What was I to do? Where is page A3?
I awkwardly unfolded the newspaper and turned a page over, and there I read the rest of the story. It was about a new generation of young, urban citizens turned hunters living countryside who now hunt their own protein and then write books about the connections they feel to nature and their new-found gratitude for the food they eat.
I flipped the page again and again: a short story about Syria’s foreign minister blaming other countries for the crisis, another about Swiss cows texting their farmers when they’re in heat, and then another about letters written by prisoners in solitary confinement.
I was converted.
No search engine on the top of the screen to tempt me to veer away from the story, no colorful ads sandwiching the columns of words, no hyperlinks in the middle of the text to navigate me to an entirely different story – just paper and ink.
When you’re forced to read articles that you didn’t search for yourself, you’re forced to read news you didn’t know about in the first place.
I plan to fit newspaper reading into my schedule, like a 20-minute workout, three to four times a week.
I no longer imagine the traditional journalist voicing his concern as an old man swinging a cane in people’s faces yelling, “Back in my day, we read news on paper!”
I understand the concern for print journalism in a different light and want newspapers to stick around. And you should too.