Our local paper, now owned by a conglomerate, is not the paper I enjoyed with a cup of coffee, in a sliver of “me time” years ago after work. After. That’s right. The Amarillo Globe published a morning and afternoon paper back then. And it was family owned. Greater than a typical mom—and-pop business, it was, nevertheless, a family enterprise where numbers of second-generation Whittenburgs cut their working teeth.
I no longer subscribe to the Amarillo Globe-News, but it’s not because it did away with the book section as we knew it when Mary Kate Tripp edited it. I simply refuse to step off my porch in sleepwear, and delivery people refuse to throw the paper past the edge of our driveway. The solution: we share a subscription with a neighbor.
A great read? Well, maybe not. Worth reading? Definitely, and I’ll back up my assertion with ten reasons.
1. Stay informed. It’s a fast way to keep up with the community—from what’s for lunch at school to the latest business and social events news. Unlike being fed what a television station wants me to know, and suffering through a dozen commercials before I get the story a tickler promised me, I can scan headlines to choose stories I want. If reading is interrupted, it’s easy to go back to the place I left off—much easier than finding the correct button on a cluttered remote.
2. Gain word power. It’s the best place I can think of to build your vocabulary. If you find an unfamiliar word, simply clip it with context. You’d feel guilty doing that to a library book, wouldn’t you? Put the clipping in a file. You can look it up later.
3. Writing lessons. You may not call yourself a writer, but most of us must write sometimes. Journalists write tight—that newspaper column represents dollars. The only writers allowed excess words are those who pay for the privilege in advertisements. If you want to improve your writing, read and learn.
4. Exposure to a variety of writing styles. If you hope to sell your writing someday, the newspaper is a good place to explore writing style, and hone your own. For example, compare pieces written by Karen Smith Welch, Lee Wolverton and David Horsley. How are their writing styles different from each other?
5. Be healthy. Speaking of David Horsley, he’d never call it that, but he writes a wellness column. He finds healthy humor in just about everything. Read his column, and laugh. It’s good for you.
6. Be healthier. Need a smile every day? Read the comics.
7. Get published. Do you have strong opinions? Express them in letters to the editor. Yours could appear in print.
8. Find writing topics. The Globe-News makes a handy source for writers stumped for a topic. Simply pick an article and put a spin on it. The journalist who wrote the article that grabbed you might even be willing to share unused research with you, especially if you’re a student.
9. Learn what’s on sale. A recent Fiesta Foods ad featured milk for $2.00 a gallon, and another promoted jalapenos for 50 cents a pound—nice fat ones easy to stuff with cream cheese. So-o-o good.
10. Save with coupons. Using a coupon, I paid just over $4.00 for the dry cleaning of my Easter suit. What I saved could pay for a day’s paper.
I have more reasons to read our local newspaper, but that’s the promised ten. Once read, however, passed on to the neighbor who additionally cuts it up for words, coupons, and even columns to save, the paper is good to catch vegetable parings. You knew that. Did you know this?—you can recycle parings and paper in your compost pile, and use it next year to dress your kitchen garden. There. Didn’t I tell you David Horsley’s words are good for your health?