For three agonizing days last week our neighborhood suffered a catastrophe - our newspapers were not delivered! The Miami Herald did not come, neither did the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal! We had no newspapers, physical newspapers that is. Yes, there are still some of us who like to hold the paper and ink in our hands and get the news that way.
Now don't get me wrong, I must read about 100 newspapers around the country through Facebook daily, you know, various articles that are posted, not the whole newspaper and also I read the comics at comics sites and I read the news from dozens of tv stations like channel 8 in Monterey, CA and Channel 3 in Phoenix, but I like holding the Miami Herald in my hands every day and reading our local news that way.
At first I thought it was just my block, but then notices started appearing on the local Nextdoor news/gossip app and the whole area seemed to be affected. Was this one carrier handling the whole area? I guess so. I've never seen so many comments on one subject in Nextdoor before. It made me feel good about the printed newspaper business.
We (the local neighbors) called and emailed the Herald but no newspapers appeared. It was very strange because even after Hurricane Andrew, where houses were gone, the Herald appeared on doorsteps, the only thing left in some cases, but there was the Herald bright and early! My parents always had a newspaper or two delivered. I remember the Miami Herald, the Miami News and the South Dade News-Leader arriving daily. The Miami News is no more and the South Dade News-Leader is a weekly publication and not delivered anymore; the Miami Herald is the only game in town, that and the Sun-Sentinel, which is available daily and is the Ft. Lauderdale newspaper.
There was a time when Ft. Lauderdale also had the Ft. Lauderdale News and Hollywood, FL had the Hollywood Sun-Tattler. I used to love that name. I never liked when the Sun-Sentinel and Ft. Lauderdale News shared exact comic pages when they had a joint operating agreement. With the Herald and the Miami News, they always had their own comics pages and so did the News-Leader and Sun-Tattler.
But I digress. I don't blame the Herald for the non-delivery issue, I blame the newspaper climate in general. It's just the way things are with printed newspapers. What was once the center of the world is an afterthought now.
I was pleased to see so many people in my neighborhood concerned about not receiving the deliveries, it shows me that I'm not the only one that likes to hold the paper in my hands. But people did get crazy about not having their paper, one man said, "I fear they have completely stopped printing now that the holiday ads are over."
Happily enough, things are back to normal, the newspapers have arrived on our doorsteps again and all is right with the world, until you read the front page, then you get depressed again about the world.
Tom Falco writes about art, culture, history and more at his daily Tomversation blog here.