When I got my first legitimate job as a journalist….Television Reporter in Biloxi, Mississippi…my dad bought me a gigantic suitcase and a subscription to The New York Times. The paper did not come every day, but about three times a week, two to three issues at a time. It was tough to read two to three issues at once, after a full day of work chasing alligators from sewers and criminals in the jail. So, the papers would stack up into a mound on the floor by the TV set. I’d get to them, but not in real time. Back then, in 1985, I am guessing the weekday paper cost somewhere between 25 and 50 cents on the newsstand.
Since Biloxi, I’ve lived in Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and now, Dallas, and have read The Times in every city. I never thought it was fair that the Sunday issue was a dollar more, out of town. I think there should be a special rate for displaced New Yorkers. It is, after all, our hometown paper. You would have to qualify by sending Mr. Sulzberger a birth certificate.
Anyway, I read today that now, The Times will cost two dollars on weekdays and six on Sunday. That is seven, for me. As a journalist, I have always tried to buy the actual paper, rather than read it on my computer. These days, especially. But these days, as a journalist, seven dollars is too much. It is not even a consideration. So, no more Book Review in the passenger seat. No more magazine in the basket in my bedroom. This will be an online relationship, exclusively, I am sorry to say. At one point, someone was selling special gloves that kept the newsprint off of your hands. Maybe it’s time for a product that sprinkles it onto your keyboard.