The second major newspaper in the last month will cease publication tomorrow. This isn't the Wakulla News or the Cairo Messenger shutting down, these are heavyweights of the industry: first, the Rocky Mountain News, of Denver, Colorado, and now, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Both of these newspapers began publication well before I was born, my father was born, and even my grandfather was born. The Rocky Mountain News began publication as the split between the North and the South was growing in 1859, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer began during the Civil War in 1863.

The Post-Intelligencer will continue as an online news source, but the Rocky, as folks in Denver apparently called it, is dead. What does this mean? Is the feel of newsprint in hand fading quickly into some sort of Orwellian future? Have we sacrificed our ability to take in large amounts of information for a sound bite?

While I don't currently take the newspaper, I have fond memories of when it was in the house. I have had letters to the editor published in the St. Petersburg Times and the USF Oracle. The Traffic Doctor (aka Ron Hartung, who accepted a retirement buyout from the Tallahassee Democrat as a cost-saving measure) has printed my questions and even re-worked a thing about being careful in the fog that I submitted. Somewhere in my abode, there are paper copies of most of these, and even though the newsprint has yellowed and aged, there's pride that something I wrote was good enough to appear in print read by many.

Part of the reason I don't take the newspaper is there seems to be more than enough paper in my residence, most of which I seem to be reluctant to send to the blue can. Another part is the convenience of reading it online. Perhaps it is time for me to call up the Democrat or the St. Petersburg Times (which is one of the best newspapers in Florida) and subscribe. While I am all about using new technologies, a part of me yearns to be able to pick up a newspaper now and again.

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