See You in the Funny Papers: When Newspapers Are Gone What Will You Miss ?

I’ll miss the comics. It’s the first section I turn to when I look at the newspaper. The experience of reading comics online just isn’t the same as it is in the newspaper.

Seth Godin poses the question When newspapers are gone, what will you miss? Godin’s answer is that he’ll miss “local news, investigative journalism and intelligent coverage of national news. Perhaps 2% of the cost of a typical paper.” True that. But I think there’s more to the story than depth of reportage.

For instance. Seth says that comics are better online. Perhaps that’s true for individual strips. But as far as I know you have to seek these out…and when you do that, you don’t encounter comic strips that challenge you. Like Family Circus.

Maybe that’s what I’ll miss most when newspapers are gone. Chance encounters with stuff I wasn’t really looking for. Truth is, since we canceled our subscription to the Ventura County Star (you might call this the Family Circus of local papers) because we were troubled by the waste stream, I no longer encounter stories from A3 or B2. I look at the headlines, usually stuff “above the fold.” Frankly, most of my news comes from my RSS feed and the various blogs that I subscribe to.

I’m always a little startled when I pick up a paper and flip through the back pages. There is a rich depth of reporting, unexplored worlds, hidden treasures that I simply don’t see in the online rags.

And for online local reportage. Like the Family Circus, it just sucks.


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