Yes, I still read real PAPER newspapers. I read a great deal of news online, too, but I still read the old-fashioned way. Why? There is something about turning the pages of a newspaper that gives me more —and more to the point— different news. Most weekdays I read the New York Times. It’s the local edition with lots of pages containing metropolitan area stories and even more articles about national and international news.
With all the aggregators, news curators and all the easy ways to tailor news consumption so that the articles I’m likely to enjoy pop to the top of my screen, why am I choosing to page through the stories outside my areas of interest? This is a strategic choice and it serves me very well. It forces me to at least glance at the business news, the top sports stories, the articles about places I’ve never heard of and people I’d find annoying in person.
Those are the wacky stories that inform my fiction. Instead of dwelling entirely in my personal echo chamber of news about theater in NYC, what’s coming to MoMA and why there were helicopters over Union Square last night, I’m reading about a movement to ban books in school libraries in towns I’ve never heard of, a cancer charity fraud that went on for years in South Carolina, how sports/energy drinks are now being marketed to video gamers, startling ongoing scientific investigations, and why so few bankers have been held accountable for the crash in 2008.
Tooling around OUTSIDE my corner of the universe opens up my world. That’s why I supplement the tailored news I know I’ll read with articles I’d never choose to read if I didn’t stumble upon them as I turned my newspaper pages.