Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Newspaper? What’s that?

I ENJOY WORKING a couple of nights a week at The Whig is sports. Mostly I work with the younger college guys who take game results and turn them into stories. I like seeing them improve. I also write a few recaps and once in a while type all the box score stuff in correctly.

Last Saturday night was the busiest night of the year, literally. We had more than 40 games or matches to track down and it was hectic but fun.

One of the college kids was writing a game story when Whig sports writer Matt Schuckman suggested he look up how one of the teams was ranked in the latest state poll. The young guy poked around on his computer for a while and finally said, “How do I find the rankings?”

Matt said, “They were in Thursday’s paper.” So the young man, once he was told where to find the paper, walked over and picked up the sports section.
How it used to be done. Olden days.

“How do you work this thing?” he said.

He literally did not know how to pick up a newspaper and open it up to find the agate page, or the page with the tiny writing and all the standings and schedules. Matt rolled his eyes in disgust and could hardly believe it. I said, “There’s an ‘on button’ on Page 3. Just hit it and it will pop up.’” 

We had a good laugh about, and the young man eventually found what he was looking for. I am willing to bet he has almost never picked up a newspaper - why should he, when it’s all right there on his computer screen or phone? Matt had a hard time believing it - “This is a newspaper,” he said. But newspapers are becoming more and more obsolete, and by the time my run on this earth is done (good Lord willing), they’ll probably become extinct.

To cheer myself up, I’ll try to go see The Post, and also read as many newspapers and watch as much fake news as possible. As soon as I find the on button, that is.

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