Friday, May 1, 2009

I Guess It Was Just a Matter of Time

Everyone knows newspapers are in trouble. Many have folded in the last few months and more will go this year. Advertising started going downhill in 2008 and, now, with the worsening economy, it is expected to go even lower. Even my beloved Inquirer is facing serious problems, declaring bankruptcy earlier this year and intending to close down The Daily News, the smaller of its two papers.

We used to have two major newspapers in Philadelphia. The morning Inquirer and The Evening Bulletin and most families read both, but The Bulletin went by the wayside years ago. I remember walking to the corner drugstore to get my Dad's Evening Bulletin ("be sure to get the 'late' edition" -- there were even different editions, but he always needed the latest sports scores) and an ice cream cone -- 5 cents for the paper, 10 cents for the cone). To older people, the thought of not having a morning paper is truly depressing. It has been part of our lives forever. We read our favorite parts and do our puzzles and it is important somehow to be able to hold a paper in our hands and flip through the pages and carry it around to read later.

So today's mail brings an offer to "get the best of both worlds!" I can add a digital edition to my current subscription for 2 cents a week--they're calling it the e-Inquirer. Up to this point, the digital edition has been free, but I guess that's about to end. And then how long will they continue the print edition, I wonder. It's only a matter of time.

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