The Soggy Newspaper: a Metaphor for The Times in Which We Live?

Peter B. GiblettStarred Page By Peter B. Giblett, 19th Nov 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/29g8-ewb/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Folklore

A bundle of knowledge or a soggy mess? That is what happens when you find the newspaper left on the driveway at the end of the rainy day. The evenings have already drawn in and the weather is becoming colder, yet the newspaper deliver people simply throw the newspaper onto the driveway.

The gift bearing knowledge

I have always been used to leaving home before the morning newspaper was delivered, so I rarely got the opportunity to take it with me, which meant I would look forward to seeing the paper in the evening, rolled up, just as if it were a gift - A gift bearing knowledge, perhaps the best gift that we can bestow on a member of the human race.

But coming home to a soggy newspaper is like receiving a spoilt gift, something where the value has effectively disappeared.

This is all the more curious to me because newspapers are delivered differently here in Canada to my native land of the UK. In the UK there was hardly ever a soggy newspaper as it was pushed through the letterbox mounted on the front door of the house. But things are different in North America.

Thrown on the Driveway

In North America, both here in Canada and in the United States, newspapers tend to be thrown onto the driveway rather than posted into the house by the person delivering them. On the day when this article was originally written the weather upon departure in the morning was fine, the problem was that it rained later in the day after the paper had been delivered and I came home to a soggy paper. Had that day been today then the newspaper would have been buried under a pile of snow and worse still a disaster waiting to happen as the snow blower sucks it in.

Of course there are those that argue that the newspaper industry will remain forever in decline - a victim of the growth and popularity of the Internet, it is a vision that is hard to argue against, yet one of the challenges of the Internet is finding relevant material that is well researched and well written and relevant to the news. An accusation that is rare for newspaper articles and columns.

There is sadly a wealth of poorly written material by people who know nothing about the subject matter they are writing on yet gaining good search engine visibility, in reality it is this sort of writing that deserves to be left on the driveway and left trampled underfoot.

Metaphor for the times?

In saying that a soggy newspaper seems in part to be a metaphor for the times in which we live I am thinking here about the state of the economy that resolutely refuses to bounce back. Sometimes opening the pages of the newspaper sees nothing but bad indicators, yet at other times the news is all good which half the time is a façade rather than reality.

Whatever the bundle holds it should be a voyage of discovery to behold, where the editor leads you through a field of thought (based upon what they see as topical at that time). When searching across the web you have to have the topic in mind when you read the newspaper the topic is given to you which sometimes broadens your horizons.

In a way we have all probably got tools that provide us with our daily newspaper, I have a start-up web page from ighome.com which proves me with a selection of news, I also access a number of RSS feeds using feedspot.com plus information that comes through my Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook feeds - are they the same as a newspaper? No. Are they better, worse - in some respects they are better because they give me info about subjects I follow daily, but in some respects there are components of the newspaper that can never be replaced.

Image credits

  • Soggy paper by coffsonline.com
  • Soggy Runner by stuff.co.zy
  • RSS feeds by myadsusa.com
  • Breaking News (from Image library purchased by the writer)

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Tags

Driveway, Letterbox, Metaphor, Metaphor Of The Times, Newspapers, Rss Feeds, Search Engine Visibility, Soggy Newspaper, Voyage Of Discovery

Meet the author

author avatar Peter B. Giblett
Author of "Is your Business Ready? For the Social Media Revolution"

Social media consultant, with C-Level background.

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Comments

author avatar viewgreen
20th Nov 2014 (#)

Informative article... Thank you. :)

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
20th Nov 2014 (#)

Well where I am (rural Alberta) there is no paper delivery, if you want a paper you have to go to the grocery store to buy it, there is also a free local paper too.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
20th Nov 2014 (#)

That is probably true in all rural locations.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
20th Nov 2014 (#)

Awesome and interesting post!

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author avatar Retired
20th Nov 2014 (#)

That's one of the prices you pay for not living in the UK any more!

Our "Times" was on the mat in time for breakfast this morning (we do the crossword over the muesli and fruit juice) and I have just been down to collect two pints of milk from the doorstep, along with our weekly box of organic vegetables. And we live in a village in the wilds of Leicestershire!

I could see an opportunity for someone to offer a better service by promising to deliver your paper to your letterbox rather than your wet driveway - surely they would beat the competition even with a higher delivery charge? Who wants to pay for a paper they can't read?

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
20th Nov 2014 (#)

I do miss The Times at times, but I can get it at Chapters, which I do for a treat once in a while. I doubt that delivery for that industry will improve especially as the industry seems in terminal decline.

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author avatar Retired
20th Nov 2014 (#)

I envy your life; I can't imagine having my milk , fresh organic vegetables and newspaper delivered to my door. I live in a rural area and have to drive ten miles into town to buy these things. I love those puzzels also.

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author avatar Ptrikha
20th Nov 2014 (#)

Personally, even with all the news and non-news websites(i frequently access Times Of India Website- perhaps you might be familiar with this), I still like to hold the paper in my hand, and read it at leisure. Moreover, it is not always that we like to strain our eyes and look into computer screens.
However, now even the news web sites are becoming more interactive and lively, and on some, we can even redeem points for goodies(of course after devoting a good time! ).

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
20th Nov 2014 (#)

The physical paper is certainly something different. Yes I have read the Times of India on my visits to you fair land.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
20th Nov 2014 (#)

There is a generation gap - or a degeneration gap - whatever it be when it comes to newspapers. The younger generation seems to have developed an aversion to newspapers or rather they do not want to be caught reading one as they are so immersed in tablets. I have the choice of two free newspapers that the young ignore or are even blissfully unaware of! They want instant updates as they occur! I am reminded of - there is nothing as old as yesterday's newspaper or well a soggy one! I know it is just not funny for you Peter! siva

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
20th Nov 2014 (#)

I like how you state that Siva, the degeneration gap - I love the idea of a newspaper but the industry seems in decline.

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author avatar Retired
20th Nov 2014 (#)

It is up to the readership to find relevant, well-written, and informative writing. And news? Well, they don't write that anymore. It's all opinion and propaganda (depending on which side you're on!).

But, readers can find material online up to the standards they expect by subscribing to online newspapers and journals of their particular selection. Another way is to effectively search online with appropriately chosen keywords.

It can be done and beats the soggy newpaper syndrome, which, indeed, is a gift relieved of its value.

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author avatar Retired
20th Nov 2014 (#)

It's funny that I came across this article, because I was just thinking how I miss reading the paper. I don't know, maybe it's the routine we had everyday. First we'd check out the headlines, the kids would read the funnies (L'i Abner, Blondie and Dagwood etc.) Mother-in law always did the puzzles and I checked out the coupons. It just isn't the same anymore. Now we have two laptops on the table. My husband surfs through the obituary and local news and I log into my sites,(wikinut, e-mails, blogs, tweets,etc.)
Oh well that's progress?
I enjoyed your article.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
21st Nov 2014 (#)

But, LeRain, we are not devoid of propaganda or opinion on the web either.

I agree we can find material on-line but the advantage the newspaper brings is that it provides a trigger to start looking for something.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
20th Nov 2014 (#)

We have certainly changed how we get the information we use.

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author avatar snerfu
21st Nov 2014 (#)

My cat gets there first. After it has made sure there is no mouse "in the house" we get to see the headlines.

Of course there is nothing we can do about the headlines.

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author avatar tafmona
21st Nov 2014 (#)

the post is very informative thanks for sharing my friend

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