Resizing the Newspaper: Are we seeing history in the making?

Banksy is toastI was out this weekend getting some coffee and I finally actually saw the newly “shrunk” version of the local paper. They announced this new size a while ago and made the switch about two weeks back but I had not yet seen it.

Amazing what cutting the width by 1.5 inches does. It seems so small..almost cute. But, I am guessing it will be easier to handle (not sure about read – my eyes are older, y’know)] I think I will really like it in a crowded spot like on a plane (which is about the only time I seem to read a paper these days).

I know this is being done for economic reasons as newsprint costs are skyrocketing and I was thinking back
to the really old newspapers from the early days – they were WAY
bigger. I wondered if the size decreases through the years were always from economic reasons. From some quick research (hey, that library science degree comes in handy sometimes), I found that our local paper actually decreased the size in the more recent past than I thought (back in 2003 when they got new presses). So, this kind of major change can be from economics or technology.

Whatever the reason, the change in the paper feels somewhat like history passing me by and I’m a witness to it. The newspaper has been an important part of the daily life of our culture. Pressures from what seem like millions of news channels on television, radio, the intertubes and fill-in-the-media-option-of-your-choice are certainly affecting the newspaper industry (like it has the music industry). I guess I just noticed it this time. So, when a “flagship” of how our society shares information changes, it just feels big.

I know stuff happens every minute of every day and it is also history in the making. But, this seemingly little thing – the change in the size of a newspaper is just a bit more striking. I guess I just had to take notice and add my thoughts about it to my little corner of the web.

Image: ‘in touch with the outside