I know you will find this hard to believe if you were born after 1990, but I promise it is true. People used to read newspapers, which were delivered to their door step every day.
No, really, ask some old person, they will confirm this. Newspapers, as the word implies, were largish sheets of actual paper with news printed on them and people felt they had to have a newspaper to find out, you know, what was new.
I was a paper girl, that is, I was hired by the newspaper publisher to deliver those papers. Every evening, they dumped off a heap of newspapers, then I hopped on my bike and rode about six miles, round trip, tossing those papers in the general direction of customer’s front porches while fending off barking dogs. Rain or shine, seven days a week. For this I was paid the princely sum of $7.00. “What? $7.00!” you may be saying. It is not as bad as you think when you consider that for $1.00 you could go to the movies all day and still have enough change to buy junk food at intermission.
Even more shocking, the people who wrote the stories for those newspapers were journalists. They felt they had a moral obligation to write true stuff, they felt it was a high calling.
Can you imagine? Probably not, considering what the News has become, but maybe this will help-it is from a speech that President Kennedy gave in 1961:
“And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment…not primarily to amuse and entertain…not simply to “give the public what it wants”-but to inform, to arouse, to reflect…And so it is to the printing press-the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news-that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.”
Inspiring, is it not? We probably cannot go back to $1.00 movies plus junk food, but the moral obligation and the high calling to write true stuff remains, waiting for someone to pick it up again.