Report from Louisiana: On Newspapers

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – I have not read a single paragraph of anything uninterrupted in ten years. Perhaps I exaggerate, but not by much. I live with a “talker.”

I adore my spouse; we have a wonderful relationship. We are best friends. We travel, we go out with friends, we have a great deal in common. We have never had an argument.

But bless his heart, he is a talker.

Already, in the few seconds I’ve typed these few sentences, he has chirped up about tomorrow being Columbus Day and therefore no mail and offered commentary on the baseball game currently on television.

Sunday afternoons are quiet and lazy around here, usually. I like to get my stack of newspapers, lie about, and read them. Sunday afternoon I began with the New York Times (I know, I know…). I like the books section. I started there and tried to dive into a review of two new books about the Constitution and the American Revolution. No more than a paragraph into it, my focus had been interrupted so many times I finally gave up and turned the page.

I moved on to the Arts section and tried to read about three ballet dancers returning to the stage after the pandemic.  I had no better luck.

I tried several other articles before abandoning my paper altogether. I have the same issue when trying to read books. I work around it, I manage, because I know how blessed I am to have him and I love our life together. But geez, it’s hard to concentrate on anything.

Now perhaps he has actually done me a favor, right? I mean, The New York Times? Never in the history of ever has there been a more biased newspaper and so shameless about it. But I do enjoy a brief visit to the dark side now and then and sometimes it is terribly beneficial to read differing points of view.  I’m going to dive back into the Opinion section at some point; I really want to read Ezra Klein’s article about the peril of the Democrat agenda right now. It sounds promising. There is another article with the headline “Should You Care What Athletes Think?”  Nope. I don’t even have to read that one. Don’t care.

I truly miss the days of good, thick, news filled newspapers written by intrepid reporters scouting out sources and armed with little notebooks in their front pockets. The state of our media today is shameful and I wonder how, and when, we got to this point. I’ve been around a long time and read lots of papers, but I guess I just quit paying attention.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and at Medium; she is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

One thought on “Report from Louisiana: On Newspapers

  1. The NYT is perfectly suited to its readers. It prints what they want to read -articles that make them feel good about themselves. Accuracy is not a factor.

    When we first got married, we had a subscription to a local newspaper. When we left for work in the morning we would bring it in and put it on the table. When we got home we were too busy to read it, so it went to the recycle bin. Eventually we changed the subscription to Sunday only, but the same thing happened, so we dropped it altogether. Now all of our news comes from the internet. And the local newspaper we used to subscribe to kept moving to the left, eventually went belly up, and got bought up by a multimillionaire. It quit printing paper copies altogether, and now is a website behind a pay wall. I don’t miss it at all.

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