Twilight of the American Newspaper?

Final Edition — Twilight of the American Newspaper” — a delightful, entertaining,
personal, and nostalgic stroll through the history of the American Newspaper. A must read!!!
Selected quotes follow:

“A scholar I know, a woman who is ninety-six years old, grew up in a tin shack on the American prairie, near the Canadian border. She learned to read from the pages of the Chicago Tribune in a one-room schoolhouse. Her teacher, who had no more than an eighth-grade education, had once been to Chicago—had been to the opera! Women in Chicago went to the opera with bare shoulders and long gloves, the teacher imparted to her pupils. Because the teacher had once been to Chicago, she subscribed to the Sunday edition of the Chicago Tribune, which came on the train by Tuesday, Wednesday at the latest.”

“Men, usually men, who assumed the sole proprietorships of newspapers in the nineteenth century were the sort of men to be attracted by the way a newspaper could magnify an already fatted ego.”

“The saga of American journalism in the twentieth century became a story of children and grandchildren and lawyers… as families sold off the nineteenth century.”

“In the growling gray light (San Francisco still has foghorns), I collect the San Francisco Chronicle from the wet steps. I am so lonely I must subscribe to three papers — the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle. I remark their thinness as I climb the stairs. The three together equal what I remember.”

The article is in the November 2009 issue of Harper’s Magazine.

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