Another good reason to keep newspapers alive - for the sales circulars

I spend hours online but I’m still a newspaper junkie.  Online shopping lets me research anything I’m thinking about buying.  And then there are all the juicy comments which are often called "reviews."  Ha!   I start off examining customers’ comments and then I stop at a review where someone is telling a harrowing story about exactly what happened the night they brought their new mattress home. Sagging!  Sides collapsing!  Back pain! Co-sleepers sniping at each other in the morning! 

I attempt to read everything online about the stuff I need to buy (and also much I didn’t need to know) but I credit the good deal I got on my new mattress and box springs to the sales circulars in the paper. I’d already visited mattress centers in person to try out the levels of support offered (can’t help thinking about that poor couple mentioned above) but it came down to watching ads from Sears and Macy’s and waiting ’til their circulars announced, at year’s end, the final, final lowest price. 

There’s nothing like a newspaper sales insert to get a person motivated.  I don’t love shopping, but like my grandmother, I still make shopping lists based on the grocery stores’ sales sections in the paper.  Ditto drug stores.  When Aveeno calming moisturizer with my particular SPF is on sale, that’s when I pick it up.  

Though I scan news headlines online, I crave the ritual of sitting down with a cup of coffee and a newspaper. On Sundays, three big fat (sadly, now getting slimmer) Sunday papers are stacked in their spot by a favorite chair and I’m unable to discard them until I’ve thumbed through all of them - even if it takes most of a week to do it.  But I don’t save those ads and sales inserts.  I gobble them right up with Sunday morning coffee.

So while the discussion continues about whether newspapers are dying, about why we need print journalism, and how much we owe to the in-depth reporting in newspapers and what an enormous investment newspapers have in paying reporters  to provide more details than we’ll get online (all true) I think they’re missing an important argument in their favor.  I’m already a confirmed newspaper lover, but if they want to reach more readers, I’m only half-kidding when I say, it’s the ads, stupid. Talk about the ads.

© Anita Garner 2010

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