Monday, November 17, 2003

Reading the Papers

One of the best things about the internet is that practically every paper is on-line in some form or another. Looking at my list of Favorites is a trip around the country and even the world.

Of course there are the biggies: The New York Times, the Miami Herald, the Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale), the Boston Globe, the Detroit Free Press, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Chicago Tribune, the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Globe and Mail (Toronto), the Toronto Star, the Guardian (Manchester, UK), Granma (Havana); and then there are the papers from the cities where I’ve lived, like The Blade (Toledo), the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Denver Rocky Mountain News, and the Albuquerque Tribune (the Albuquerque Journal requires a paid subscription – feh!). You get national news and a good look at the local attitudes about national stories.

But there is also something valuable in reading small-town papers, too. Their headlines aren’t about national and international stories – they are, as one paper puts it, the source of “local news you can’t get anywhere else.” So I include them in my reading list, and I read them regularly. In all cases I’ve either lived or worked in these places, and it’s a nice way to keep in touch with them and remind myself that all the news isn’t in the New York Times.

In no particular order:

The Estes Park Trail-Gazette, Estes Park, Colorado. Located on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, 75 miles northwest of Denver.

The Leelanu Enterprise, Leland, Michigan. Located in the “little finger” of the mitt of Michigan’s lower peninsula. Matt Roush, the critic at TV Guide, got his start here.

The Keynoter, Key West, Florida, and the Upper Keys Reporter, Key Largo, Florida. Linked as a service of the Florida Keys Chamber of Commerce…

The Longmont Daily Times-Call, Longmont, Colorado. I lived there in my last years of grad school at CU; it’s a nice town with a midwestern feel and a spectacular view of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.

The Perrysburg Messenger-Journal, Perrysburg, Ohio. My home town.

The Petoskey News-Review, Petoskey, Michigan. I lived there for five years. A resort community on Lake Michigan; beautiful summers and brutal winters (220″ of snow every year, and now you know why I moved to Florida).

The New Mexican, Santa Fe, New Mexico. An interesting mix of news from a paper that reads like a cross between a mainline paper in a capital city and an alternative paper like the Weekly Alibi.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle, Traverse City, Michigan. The “big” paper in northwestern lower Michigan. Traverse City is the home of the annual National Cherry Festival every July, and is a well-known summer and winter vacation spot in the midwest for boating, skiing, and other fun stuff.

One interesting thing to read in each of these papers is the Opinion and Editorial features they have. While most of the editorials are about local issues, it’s a very good way to get an idea of what the population is really thinking. You might be surprised.