Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Why I read the newspaper

It started around the time Davey was born, almost 9 years ago now. We would lounge in bed in the early mornings, nursing. Mark would bring me the newspaper and a cup of coffee. In those first months, Davey would often go back to sleep, and I would leisurely sip my coffee and read the paper. That's the way I remember it, anyway. Over the years since, coffee and the newspaper (the actual paper kind), in bed, have become more than a tradition - it's almost a ritual. But now Mark and I take turns, because somebody has to get up to keep Davey company while he gets a start on breakfast. (Whereas I wake up needing coffee, immediately, Davey wakes up needing Nutrigrain cereal bars, immediately, followed by eggs and toast and cereal and french toast and soy sausage and a waffle and lots of milk, usually all during the same breakfast, which can easily span an hour.)

Yesterday morning it was my turn for the coffee/newspaper ritual. I was greatly comforted by the total lack of bad news, of real news of any kind. It's a great way to start the day, realizing that surely nothing bad had happened in the world, since there was no real news in the paper. Here's what I did learn. These three articles took up the entire inside front page.

1. Some penguins in a zoo whose baby chick had been stolen some time ago have laid an egg. (I can't find a web reference. Apparently this good news made the print edition but not the web archives.)

2. A New York cabbie, who happens to be a woman, has a blog.

3. Scientists have discovered that January 24th is the worst day of the year.

Although these are all fascinating, I was most struck by the blogging article. Was it the fact that it was a cabbie blogging that made it newsworthy? Or was it because she's a female cabbie? Does this mean that blogging is really mainstream now?

But mainly, can you imagine being the editors, or whoever it is who gets to decide what to publish where? Wouldn't you like to know what goes on in their heads? Can you imagine sitting around a table strewn with coffee cups and newspapers (!) and saying, "People have been worried about those penguins. Our readers will want a lengthy article about the fact that they've managed to lay another egg."

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