Yes, it's a random conversation with a single reader, but I found a lot to think about in the reflections this editor gained by talking with an airplane seatmate about newspapers.
Here's a sample:
After stowing my laptop under my seat, I asked her if she would be interested in reading one of the newspapers during the flight.And this:
Her reaction, which I totally didn’t expect given how she had first inquired about the newspapers I had purchased, was a less-than-measured response:
“Naw, thanks, it’s just full of day-old stuff … ”
Realizing that she might have just insulted me, she quickly began to apologize: “I didn’t mean to say that you are wasting your time” … “It’s just that, in my experience, newspapers are a bit slow ... Whatever important news that I need is either on TV or on the Internet, you know.”
She seemed irritated, almost as if she felt cheated with her newspaper experience, which led me to inquire whether in fact she USED to be an avid reader.
Guess what: She was.
She had very strong feelings about what a newspaper’s role used to be versus now: “I used to read all the time 10 years ago, because my paper would tell me a lot that I didn’t know. It was full of stuff from around my area and the rest of the state. It made you feel smart to read it. It just isn't that way anymore."