My first confession, I miss newspapers.

16 Jan

It was just over five years ago, but it seems like a lifetime ago that I took the job as the sports and outdoors writer and editor for the Sierra Sun, a bi-weekly newspaper in Truckee, California.

To this day I’m confident I’m the only sports writer in the world that had to ask spectators at soccer, tennis, and volleyball games and or matches for a brief rundown of the rules. I knew the basics of each sport I was required to write about, or at least I knew what each game was called, but I didn’t know how points were scored in one sport, or what constituted being off-sides in another. And I for damn sure didn’t know the names of the different types of offenses and defenses most sports journalists know like the back of their hand.

You’re probably wondering how I got the job then… The answer is simple. It was a mountain town, so I was probably the only person with a journalism degree in the area that was willing to work for $10 an hour.

In addition to being paid such a luxurious wage in one of the most expensive parts of the country I was also allowed to write a bi-weekly column called ‘Keeping Score,’ although I quickly changed the name of the column to ‘Go Big or Go Home.’ Although it was in the sports section, oddly enough my columns rarely had anything to do with sports. My columns were often rants about random things I’d observed throughout the week or simply about things I wanted to make fun of.

Although I quickly realized being a sports writer was not for me, my column was to this day one of my favorite things to write. Not only do I miss writing a column, I miss reading columns in newspapers. It seems like with the slow, but inevitable, death of print journalism, the first ones to go are the columnists; who are in some people’s eyes, easily replaced by bloggers.

I’m seeing this trend more and more. Columnists are moved on-line, then let go and newspaper publishers think no one will miss them with the addition of five mediocre bloggers who are put their place. But now it seems bloggers aren’t even safe. Blogs aren’t even fast enough anymore for our A.D.D society, we need to know what these people are doing when they’re not blogging.

Talking with a friend recently, he tried to convince me to set up a Twitter site, saying it is a great way to network. I begrudgingly did, and updated my account here and there for a few days, but I hated every minute of it. If Twitter is an example of the “New Media,’ I want nothing to do with it.

While watching the introductory video to Twitter, the voice explaining why the site is valuable, said, “You may be an avid blogger, but sometimes your friends want to know what you did between blog posts and emails. Maybe you mowed the lawn, or… and your friends want to know about that too!”

If you are one of my friends, let me tell you, as a friend, that I do not, and will not ever, care about all of the things you do in a day. When I ask, “How was your day,” I’m being polite, and I hope you’ll do the same by saying, “It was good.” I do not want to know every last detail of your life from the time you woke up until the time you went to sleep. And I do not need text messages sent to my phone telling me when you’ve added another post, because I know when your status says, “Hunk256 is enjoying a beautiful sunset,” you’re not really enjoying a beautiful sunset. You’re sitting there typing into your laptop or phone, that’s what you’re doing. Your status updates should always say, “Hunk256 is typing again.” If you were mowing the grass and realized a life lesson that you could put into more than a paragraph, I might want to read it, but don’t you dare post, “OMG, I hate mowing! LOL.” And while we’re on the topic, chances are, if you ever type: OMG, OMFG or LOL, I probably hate you or I am at least deeply disappointed in you.

I miss words, or rather; I miss when people actually used words to convey an important, fun, or inspiring message. Twitter makes me miss blogs and blogs make me long to hold a newspaper in my hand and read a column. As I stated in my “Purpose,” we are heading down a dangerous path. Technology is moving quicker than ever before and to fight it would be pointless, but at the same time we don’t have to embrace it.

There is a middle ground… I’m taking a piece of modern technology, a blog, and using it to start writing a weekly column again. I hope you like it, but if you don’t, I really don’t care! You’re probably one of the assholes I’m ranting about. OMG JK LOL!

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3 Responses to “My first confession, I miss newspapers.”

  1. Jim_S January 17, 2009 at 2:21 am #

    For the record … you were hired for your talent. Believe it or not, the line is long for budding journalists willing to work in a ski mecca for pennies.

    Plus, you had dreadlocks.

    Good words, my friend.

  2. Chris January 17, 2009 at 5:27 am #

    Dan you’ve done it again!
    Your kinda like the Britney Spears of the writing world, i mean you have gone up and down, this looks like another smash hit!

    I’m just glad you made it with without pictures of you getting out of a car with your junk hanging out!

    Cb

  3. Amy January 28, 2009 at 4:34 pm #

    You know what scares me? Amazon Kindle. Not that I’ve ever touched one, or seen one in real life; I try not to make eye contact with their likeness on the computer screen for too long. But it fills me with the same sadness you feel for newspapers. Isn’t half the fun of reading books the way the pages feel, the awesome cover art, the typeface… or is that just me? I even like the smell of books. Waldens (may it rest in peace) smells better than Borders, for the record.
    I even thought books on CD were creepy for a while until I realized that when you’re driving from the Middle of Nowhere, CO to the Middle of Nowhere, NM at 2 am, it’s nice to have another voice in the car. But I feel like even by making that concession, I let things get all out of hand.
    Anway, I support your desire to regress. Fuck techology (I say as I type a response on my computer). I miss ink all over my fingers and pages that never refold the right way and the smart snap of the paper as my grandfather straightened the New York Times so he could read his columns and complete his crossword.

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