THE LAST DAYS OF HARD-COPY NEWSPAPERS?

LIKE ME, FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH GETS HIS NEWS ONLINE

When I took a picture of the Ledger-Enquirer press in September, 2009, I had in mind not only the subject of that blog post, but also of the one to come, this one.

Columbus Ledger-Enquirer presses

I figured it was just a matter of time before the Ledger-Enquirer’s press would join a lot of others around the country in passing into history. I must say it came a little quicker than I thought it would.

The L-E’s sister McClatchy paper,the Macon Telegraph,had already shut down its production department, being printed by the Ledger-Enquirer. Starting in January,  the L-E, according to the story in the paper Friday, will be printed by the Montgomery Advertiser in Montgomery.

A lot of people still like to hold the paper in their hands. I think it is probably mainly older people, people like me. Well, I’m 80, and I read it online every day but Sunday. The Sunday paper isn’t offered online so I read the hard copy.

Former President George W. Bush isn’t as old as I am, but at 64 he is old enough to collect Social Security, and he gets his news online, saying he watches no television, and the only newspaper he reads is the Wall Street Journal, and he reads that online. He told NBC’s Matt Lauer on Nightly News that he has an iPad. He surfs the web and reads political websites, with the only one he named being Politico which he thinks is good.

Naturally, I have to reflect on my past association with a Ledger-Enquirer press. I first came in contact with one when I was 12-years-old in 1942. I got a Columbus Ledger route on 2nd Avenue. It was the afternoon paper. I would watch copies coming off the press being swooped up by a circulation department worker, who passed them through a window to me. Then I would have to fold each one, put it in the bag on my bike’s handlebars, and then push the bike up the steep 12th Street hill, and then hop on and start peddling when I got on level ground on Broadway.

People had porches on 2nd Avenue then, so I could throw most of the papers from my moving bike. That was the fun part. But, I had to stop and climb three flights of stairs at an apartment building that had previously been the Southern Bell building, and I also went upstairs at boarding houses, and the YMCA to deliver papers there.

The paper wasn’t published on Saturdays so that was collection day. Most people paid by the week… when they paid. Sometimes they just wouldn’t come to the door, and sometimes they would come to the door and ask if I could wait until next week. Most of 2nd Avenue was not affluent. There were some old- money families still on the street, and they paid by the month. I decided to cut one of them off when no one would answer the door for a whole week. Back then, the paper boy bought his papers and if subscribers didn’t pay he would have to eat the loss. When I turned in the cancellation notice, the circulation manager almost had apoplexy and urged me to continue delivering the paper, saying that the problem was the rich old lady had been out of town, and that he would personally collect from her and give me the money. Eventually he did, but I got fed up with the whole thing and, after I broke my leg in a playground accident, I quit.

I’m thinking about getting an iPad. Have they come down in price yet?

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