The New York Times is a printed newspaper, which is a thing people used to buy. At the top of every issue is their official slogan: “All the news that’s fit to print.” Emphasis on that last part.
Of course, like so many other things, the Big Bad Internet Monster has largely swallowed the once classic combo of ink and wooden pulp. I hate that, and at the risk of sounding like an urban-gardening, growler-sipping hipster (or maybe just a premature geriatric), I still think there’s a lot to be said for flipping through a physical edition of the greatest daily known to man. Allow me to explain in conveniently digestible list form.
1. They set the pace
Snowden. Assange. Watergate. They report it first. Whether or not you know it, many of the biggest stories of your lifetime come straight from the pages of A1. Instead of furiously recycling stories like every other click-whoring media site, the Times still crafts them from scratch.
2. Modern Love
This is my favourite column. Nestled inside the Sunday Style section, they publish a short story about love, in its many forms, chosen from the open submissions they collect each week from authors of all stripes. If you like quick snapshots of people’s most important moments, you’ll quickly fall for this feature.
3. Bill Cunningham
You may know him from the 2010 feature doc “Bill Cunningham New York”, which profiled the curiously reserved shutterbug who’s credited with the popularization of street style fashion photography. You can still see his weekly roundups of the city’s best-dressed pedestrians every Sunday.
5. Because it goes better with your morning coffee than any screen
You just woke up. You’re groggy. It blows. I know it’s tempting to stay in zombie mode while you gloss over your FB newsfeed for the trillionth time, but what your brain really needs is a major kick-start. Begin your day with this paper and I promise you’ll have at least three conversation starters in the chamber by the time you get to work.
6. They’ve won 112 Pulitzer Prizes for excellence in journalism
For those keeping count, that’s 112 more than Gawker, Buzzfeed, Elite Daily, TMZ, Upworthy, and Thought Catalog combined.
7. No comment
Here’s a fantastical thought: imagine reading something and coming to your own critical conclusions about its content without any bias from the vitriol-spewing leeches that brood about in the miserable peanut gallery beneath each article? The infamous comment section, AKA, Where The Internet Goes To Die, is powerfully absent on the printed page. It’s an extremely refreshing and healthy change of pace.
8. You should support real journalism
Because it’s almost extinct. Buying and subscribing to a physical newspaper is one of the best ways to support these institutions. If we don’t, they’ll (continue to) fail, and all we’ll be left with is a heaping dose of snark courtesy of the Gawkers, FOXs, and TMZs of the world. If you don’t want the NY Times, then pick up your local paper. Buy it with money. Show them that the reporting of history as it happens still matters to you.