Here is a look at the Sunday paper, taken out of its protective driveway condom and laid on the floor:
Looks like a newspaper, right?
Well, once you appreciate the heft of the thing, you start to unpack it. It’s a lot of news! The most important newspaper of the week! The heavy-hitting investigative journalism gets saved for the newspaper that costs the most, right? It’s the paper that has everything: news, opinions, sports, maybe some recipes, the all-important color Sunday comics, the obits, maybe a little booklet of some coupons.
Once you unpack the newspaper, this is what you get with all of the sections laid out individually:
Now, it is important to note that only the top 4 sections are actually content that counts as “news.” You’ve got two all-purpose “news” sections, a “Metro” news section, and a sports section. You could reasonably contend that the metro section is the most important because that’s the only section where you are getting local news that you couldn’t get from other sources. News about international relations? You can get those on, say, the Internet. Local reporting is only going to come from your local reporters.
The rest of this shit? Well, it turns out that the era of the coupon booklet has been replaced by the era of Store-Specific Advertising Circular. Not only do these not include discounts, they are not generally-applicable in the sense that manufacturers’ coupons are. They merely tell me about things happening in stores that I don’t shop at. And this is useless information destined directly for the recycle bin.
It is astonishing to strip the Sunday paper of all its advertising inserts. The reassuring heft and weight of the best newspaper of the week is reduced to an emaciated husk of a thing, a flimsy scrap for the cats to curl up on.