Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sign of the (L.A.) Times

I grew up in a news junkie's household. When I was a kid, Washington DC had two main papers, the Washington Post and the Evening Star. When I was in high school in Richmond, there were also two daily papers, one in the morning and one in the evening--the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the News-Leader. There was also the Richmond Mercury, and Richmond Style Weekly, a freebie paper I wrote for after college.

In addition to the local papers, my father subscribed to the Wall Street Journal and, off and on, to the Christian Science Monitor. On weekends, he'd made the drive out to a hotel near downtown to buy out of town papers--the NY Times, the L.A. Times, etc.  When I moved to L.A. there were three main daily papers, the Times, the Herald-Examiner and a paper that was then known as the Valley News and Green Sheet.  (Among staffers, the Valley News was often referred to as "the green shit" and if you were overheard saying that, it meant a pink slip.) The Her-Ex folded some years ago but the Times and the Valley News are still around, along with a handful of hyper-local papers.

I grew up reading newspapers in  cities where there were a lot of papers covering the news. And from the time I moved to Los Angeles, I had a subscription to the Times.  But in 2007, with the WGA Times now costs $1 a copy, which used to be what the fat Sunday edition cost. And I realized I couldn't remember the last time I sat down and read an actual newspaper. Probably around the last time I looked a number up in the actual Yellow Pages and dialed it on my land line.
strike looming, that subscription was one of the first things I chopped out of my budget, along with cable and eBay browsing. I would occasionally pick up a single copy from a newspaper vending machine but eventually I transitioned over to online news and I haven't really looked back. Until today when a newspaper headline caught my eye and I looked closer and discovered that the L.A.Times now costs $1 a copy, which is what the fat Sunday edition used to cost. Wow.
I can't remember the last time I sat down and read a newspaper. It was probably around the same time that I looked something up in a paper Yellow Pages and dialed the number on my cordless phone. 


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