One Newspaper at a Time

Here’s a question no one would have asked 10 years ago: where can one purchase a national newspaper in Decatur?

I’ve subscribed to weekend home delivery of the New York Times for the past year or so, but the whole arrangement is beginning to feel like a chore that I pay over $40 a month to take on.  Especially on days when I don’t have time to sit down with that $6 Sunday monster, it just screams “waste of money!” from its place on the coffee table.

I yearn for a much less demanding relationship with my hard-copy.   To simply pick up a bundle of ink at the corner market on days when I have both the time and energy.  But of coarse, Decatur doesn’t really have a corner market.  So, beyond Starbucks, I’m not really sure where else you can pick up a New York Times or a Wall Street Journal or a USA Today.  (Can you even still get all of those at Starbucks?)

Are there other options of which I’m just blindly unaware?

33 thoughts on “One Newspaper at a Time”

  1. Yes, all three (NY Times, AJC, USA Today) are available at Starbucks still. I would say that reading them online would be more green, but I read that the NYTimes will start charigng for its online edition in 2011 and that the AJC has started holding back articles until they have appeared in print. For my part, work and kid commitments always keep me from reading newspaper and magazine backlogs in a timely manner. I have antique magazines on my Zinio reader that I have yet to tackle.

    1. Thanks for the confirmation Louis!

      Agreed that a physical newspaper might not be the “greenest” of options, but because of this site, I find that these days, I am constantly in what I can only describe as “creation-mode” when browsing online. And there’s little time for reflection when you’re in blog-fodder creation mode.

      A physical paper, which happily resists any efforts to link, weigh-in, or bookmark, is one way that I force myself into a more reflective state.

      And books are even better!

    2. “the AJC has started holding back articles until they have appeared in print”

      Not always true. I sometimes get articles on my Yahoo RSS feed two or three days before they show up in the hard copy.

    3. Reading online more green? What about the resources of electricity it takes to do this online, not to mention the electronics?
      Also, the people who have labored to put this online are not profiting from your online reading (except for online advertisements.).

      Newspaper, on the other hand, is very recycleable, and trees are a renewable resource.

      I’m not willing to concede that reading something that takes up bandwidth is automatically greener.,

      1. I imagine there’s a great deal of electricity involved in printing–not to mention the power the writers use while writing on their computers.
        The thing about online reading–there’s nothing left (with which) to start a fire with.

  2. i have the same dilemna… i want to read the NYT every sunday , but run out of time. I used to live in CT and so enjoyed getting the metro edition on Sundays and reading it with my breakfast. I have almost cancelled the Times twice, but each time they have given me a better deal, but i think my recycle bin is getting tired of the unread Times …. and alas i will have to settle for the AJC.

  3. Agree about green, but there’s just a certain something about the NYT with coffee on a Sunday morning that the AJC just doesn’t inspire.

  4. The AJC, which offered all articles online for years, now indeed only offers some content in print (not delayed but simply never available). I suggested they should at least offer a snippet of it (remember the old days when most newspapers expected you to pay for just about every piece online), but their response was that you must buy the print edition to get all content.

    I did have an experience a few years back (in the Wordsmiths days) when I sought a copy of the Atlanta Business Chronicle for an article that wasn’t available online. I couldn’t locate it anywhere in the City limits and ended up buying it at Borders. I presume it’s still not available here.

    1. While I understand that you and lots of other people want content for free, let me ask you this question. Do you work for free? Does your company give away its product for nothing? Why do you expect the AJC to do the same thing?

      1. Though I’m not sure that Carl is arguing that all online content should be free, I’m pretty sure it’s not his problem. It’s the AJC’s.

        The cost of publishing has fallen through the floor, opening the flood gates to new and different ways to get news & information. All traditional papers will feel the pain as they contract, since they no longer have a monopoly on news in a market. Some will survive, some won’t.

        And yes, investigative journalism will suffer in the short-term since it’s not AT ALL profitable, but it will soon return after companies figure out how to make money in the new media world. And happily, there will also be a lot less crap to filter through after we’ve been through this revolution. Crap that has survived purely because it’s one of only a few options in town.

      2. And a shoemaker should be paid for handcrafting a pair of shoes but that’s no guarantee anyone will buy those shoes. Providing something of value is just half the equation. The other half is making sure people will pay for it.

        Absolutely 100% unfair that value is not an absolute indicator of worth but, fair or not, that’s what’s going on right now. We’re gorging ourselves at the trough of free content but corn and entrails will only be tasty for so long. Once they’ve lost their allure, quality and substance will make a comeback.

        1. What suggests that the corn and pig guts will lose their allure? Quality may reemerge in different forms in the future, but it will probably only be due to an online shift in advertising dollars.

          Is there less quality out there than before? I’m pretty sure there’s more…it just might not all be easily found on the magazine rack at B&N.

          1. There is plenty of quality out there, but right now a huge amount of it lacks easy access, consistency or both. It’s not that the glut will lose its allure so much as it is that other things, as they improve their content and delivery models, will gain.

            Just like Big Ag isn’t exactly disappearing, but quality alternatives are getting easier to find. There’s people now who’ll pay a premium for local organic tomatoes not because the tomatoes suddenly got better but because they became easier to get reliably.

            Perhaps online “food” will follow a similar path. Let me be the first to advocate for a Slow Content movement. 🙂

          2. Pretty sure that corn and pig guts will never go out of style. Remember, the #1 selling magazine in our fair nation is People. And it outsells #2 by a huge margin.

      3. Diane,

        While I understand your question, it is a moot point. Why? Because today, there are people that work and deliver content for free. Here’s an example:

        The newspaper industry has lost its position because it is no longer the singular “portal” for content digestion. I read huffpo and hotair (gotta study both sides people….please…and don’t read into the fact that I posted a right leaning site….it’s just the best example I could conjure up) and those portals can lead you ANYWHERE, to find content from anyone.

        So, who is Dr. Zero? Obviously a gentleman with enough time on his hands to write, IMHO, highly intellectual social and political commentary. And, yet, I get to read it for free. Someday, though, the amount of traffic on his site will pique the interest of someone who wants to market a service or product, and offer him money. Kind of like….oh, I don’t know……this blog! Then he can whore himself out all the livelong day! 😉 I don’t know how much money DM is pulling in from these ads, but I bet it buys a more than a Chilly Goat at Dancing Goats. Doc Zero and DM are the new journalism. There may come a point when DM quits his full time job and works solely on this blog because he can afford to.

        So, click on those ads people! Mention this blog when you go in for a loan! Tell Eddie you heard about his Attic on Decatur Metro!

        Phew…coffee kicked in HARD.

        Carry on…..

    2. See my prior remark about RSS feeds. Also, IMHO, the AJC online is hard to navigate compared to some other newspaper’s online editions.

  5. I was under the impression that one of the biggest factors in the failing business model of old media newspapers was the rise of free online ad spaces; craigslist, etc. Not being able to sell classified auto and realty ads at previous “golden era’ levels was what really kicked the legs out from underneath the dailies.

    1. Yup, that has kicked the legs out from under the newspaper industry.
      I’m hoping a new business model emerges that generates a way for journalists to survive.
      Right now, few people want to pay for content.
      I’m at a point in my life where I can’t afford to work for nothing, alas.
      I enjoy DM, think it’s a good site. I’m under the impression that he has another full-time job and does this in his spare time. It may be marginally profitable.

      Journalism may go back to the era when only wealthy people with other means of support are able to practice it, or that journalists have to resign themselves to being impoverished.

      I’m sorry that some readers here feel that what journalists do is not of much value.

  6. DM – I too am a weekend subscriber and have not had time to read the NYT recently. We have a backlog of papers waiting to be used as packing paper/wallpaper/wrapping paper or to be read, a few weeks late. Surely we can work out some system – just drive by my house, get my paper early on a Sunday and it is all yours. If I wake up early and get to the paper first, you loose and can try again next week.

  7. You can buy the NYT and the AJC at the Citgo on Howard at the Atlanta Street crossing. And say hello to Gary when you are there.

      1. Yes – is so! I’ve been doing it for years except it is not a Citgo any longer. I think now it is a Marathon.

  8. The news-porn is behind the counter at Starbucks.

    I hope you gave into reading sloth and “enjoyed” the NYT high-gloss section this Sunday.

    If skirting church to read it and eaten afterward, it gives one the opportunity a delightful encounter all seven deadly sins. LIVE IT UP, SINNERS!

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