Frugal Living 

Skip Newspapers, Use The Internets

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The only time I ever crack open a newspaper is when I have absolutely nothing else to do and there’s a newspaper in front of me (I have this thing where I don’t like waiting around, I have to be doing something productive, maybe it’s ADD-ish or something), like when we’re checking out at the supermarket, because all the information in the newspaper is presented better, faster, and cheaper (can you feel that frugal bone in your body twitch?) online.

Consider this, how can a newspaper, which freezes its content the night before so it can be sent to the printer, really offer you “breaking news”? Your nightly television news can’t really offer you breaking news because they can’t show up until 10PM (or whatever time it shows up) either but at least on TV they can break into that 345873th rerun of Friends/Seinfeld/Everybody Loves Raymond (Brad Garrett is freaking hilarious) to show you something. However, on the internet you can get breaking news faster than any news service if you’re looking at the right place.

Now, skipping the breaking news aspect, all the other sections of a newspaper can be found online and in greater depth. You want the Money section? Check out CNN Money or Yahoo! Finance’s dozens of sections (retirement, personal finance, real estate, etc) with in depth articles. You want classifieds? Find your local Craigslist. Autos? or KBB. Style? It’s online too. Every section is available. If you really love newspapers, try the newspaper’s website which is often absolutely free. As for the ones that make you pay, find an alternative!

So, save yourself a few bucks and a few trees and snub that newspaper subscription.

{ 11 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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11 Responses to “Skip Newspapers, Use The Internets”

  1. Jeremy says:

    I used to never read a newspaper. Like you mentioned, you can obtain all of the same information, and even more breaking news content quickly and easily online. This is very true. But over the last few years even with technology and news available online has improved I find myself reading newspapers even more frequently.

    Of course I don’t rely on my day-old newspaper to keep me updated with the latest breaking news either. But what I find is that after spending all day at work on a computer the last thing I want to do is do even more reading on the computer. I find it quite refreshing to come home and have a newspaper waiting for me. I typically skip the front few pages because I already know the top news stories. But I can sit down in a comfortable chair or sit out on the deck (during the summer) overlooking the lake leisurely reading.

    You could argue that I could just use my laptop and wireless internet to do the same thing, but again, it feels good to disconnect a bit and relax the old-fashioned way. So you are completely correct in what you stated above. We have access to more information than ever for free, but the most tied to technology I am the more excuses I’m looking for to spend some time unplugged as well.

  2. nelson says:

    I completely agree that newspapers are “yesterday’s news” and websites offer virtually an up-to-the-minute update on current events.

    However, I stare at a computer screen 10 hours of every weekday, and at the end of the day the last thing I want to do is look at more computers screens. That’s where a paper is wonderful. But I do like the prospect of a foldable e-ink or e-paper thing in the future, only if I can write on it for the crossword puzzle (and drawing mustaches on celebrities).

  3. I read the paper pretty often. That is because my school gives them away free. If I had to pay for them I probably would just use the internet.

  4. I only have a newspaper subscription for Sundays, although they tend to drop them in my box on holidays as well (probably the same driver). I tend to read the entire thing, although I do skip any article without a captivating headline.

    For daily news, I tend to get it off of the internet. On Sundays, though, there is usually a day or two of news that I haven’t gotten since I don’t track the news as closely on weekends, and on cold mornings at 7 o’clock when I am waiting for my teammates to show up for a Sunday run it is easy to just open up a section of the newspaper.

    The main reason that I get Sunday papers is for coupons and (occasionally when I need something) fliers.

    I also agree with all of the statements above; if I have a newspaper, I’d rather take that over a website because I stare at a computer screen too much anyway.

  5. yan says:

    Here is a useful site if you only want to scan headlines
    You can see them all in PDF format, just as if you were holding the paper

  6. Clever Dude says:

    Two ideas:
    1) I get the free local paper delivered to me each Tuesday. That covers the local news (Rockville, MD). I get the rest of my news and classifieds from the web.

    2) Leaving work today in DC, I actually walked past a homeless guy selling The Washington Post and some unknown paper. He was saying something about “Help the homeless with ingenuity” or something. He got the papers from the trash. I saw him scrounging for them at lunchtime. I didn’t ask how much he was selling them for though.

  7. I’ve never liked reading the paper, so much folding and unfolding, plus there is no search functionality 🙂

    I feel bad for the newspaper reps in town. They come by and try to sell me a subscription, offering lower and lower prices. They just don’t seem to understand that they’d have to actually pay me to read the paper. My vote is for the Internets!

  8. Matt says:

    It’s been years since I read anything written on paper by someone I couldn’t pick out of a crowded room. (Which allows my favorite fiction authors, but disallows newspapers and magazines.)

    I do subscribe (yes, for money) to the WSJ’s online edition. It’s the only newspaper worth reading, and certainly the only one worth paying for. I read it mostly for the business information. (My own industries, I can track more effectively through specialized media, but there are trends in the larger economy that could affect my business interests, and I want a good perspective on those.) But not even the WSJ is worth the hassle of reading news on paper and then dealing with the resulting trash.

  9. Martha says:

    There is something to be said about being able to open a new newspaper in the morning and read my favorite columns while eating breakfast. I always feel ready to start the day even if the news is “old.” I love newspapers and I’ll be sad when they decide to be online only.

  10. Jessica says:

    then … what happens to the weekly newspapers in small-town america?? seems they are actually the only ones making it work these days in the newspaper business …

  11. Bert says:

    I stopped getting the paper years ago and don’t miss it. It was a bunch of left wing hype anyway so I never considered it news. It was just a bunch of activists posing as journalists trying to change the world.

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