More rambling on newspapers

Recently I tried to separate out the parts of a newspaper that I really enjoyed. I decided that the fillers and the human interest pieces were the sections I always read to completion. The other stuff like national “news” was incidental.

Ideally and neurally, news means actionable information, telling you how to prepare for the next onslaught of bad weather or crime or tyranny. Newspapers have never provided this class of information. Their job is to stir up MORE crime and war and riots, not to help you defend yourself against what the newspaper does.

Two websites perform the defense function for my purposes: Weather radar and the Spokane News facebook page. Many cities and neighborhoods have similar pages where actual people report what’s happening right now.

Several attempts to re-create online newspapers fail all of these criteria. Bari Weiss’s Free Press on Substack is a collection of opinion articles. Straight Arrow News has some sparse national “news” plus a lot of opinion articles. No actionable info, no fascinating fillers.

I suppose a browser plugin or app could gather up the proper elements into one organized front page, but it still wouldn’t be the same.

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