From Where I Sit – Adapt Graciously

For at least 40 years, I was a daily reader of the Edmonton Journal. It wasn’t part of a morning ritual with coffee and croissant, because we had to pick it up from a convenience store in Andrew. There’s no door-to-door delivery when you live in the boonies.

Most days, reading it was the last thing I did before bed, sitting in my favourite chair in front of the TV with the paper spread out before me on a small table. If I had been busy, there might have been an accumulation of newspapers to read. But I read them all. In order. I needed to keep the story thread of the comics, oh, and life-altering current events too, in chronology.

And even though the content of the paper sometimes raised my blood pressure or had me shaking my head in disbelief, I found a calm in the process of carving out this time for me.

Reading the newspaper so late in the day meant that by then I had heard any really big news on the radio or TV or through word-of-mouth. Today, 24-hour TV news stations and real-time feeds allow us to see news happening, and anyone with a phone and a Twitter or Facebook account can be a reporter. It has largely replaced the water cooler methodology of communication.

This instant ?news? isn’t always reliable or balanced or fair or even true. It doesn’t have the advantage of professional writers, who use research, context, and sober second thought to get it right. And while there is delay in any print medium, there is also time and space to give a story or an issue the background or follow-up it needs.

I never read every word, cover to cover, but I did rip out a lot of items for reference or to share with someone else. I’d set a particularly good cartoon in Roy’s spot at the table. I tore out obituaries and saved items with practical how-to information.

So several months ago when I was told I could no longer subscribe to the Journal, I was upset. For a few months the storekeeper saved a paper for me from his daily inventory. The daily price was about triple what I had been paying as a subscriber, but we bit the bullet and paid. Then the shopkeeper had a falling out with the delivery guy and stopped carrying the paper altogether.

I’m in withdrawal. Past attempts at finding something on the Journal website have been incredibly frustrating; too much ?noise? to wade through to get where I want to go. Buying the occasional newsstand copy just reminds me of what I’m missing.

Looks like yet again I need to adapt graciously to what is, from where I sit.

Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.

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