Newspapers in the Snow

We might be saying goodbye to the days of newspaper carriers as two of Utah’s newspapers shift to weekly publications.

BY HAILEY MINTON

The cold air seemed to freeze the inside of my nose as I initially walked down my front porch steps to go deliver newspapers. It had been snowing the night before and big chunky flakes continued to drift to the ground to muffle every sound except my feet squeaking in the snow. As I began to move, my body started to warm up inside my old blue coat with newspaper ink smeared on the sleeves. The winter solstice was still approaching so dusk continued to draw out it’s time below the horizon the way I wished to draw out my time under my covers. It was about 5:45 a.m. as I walked the two blocks of my paper route. The roads had yet to be plowed, the sidewalks yet to be shoveled, so I tromped my way along while everyone else in the neighborhood was still asleep… or at least I thought they should be.

The fresh blanket of snow accentuated the blushing glow of the Christmas lights decorating some of the homes on my route. I can’t tell you how much the memory of this feels like home. The Christmas lights in yards and fringing the roofs, icicles dangling from porch covers, cats eyeing me from inside the homes, crunching the frozen ice in the gutters. It’s vivid and wonderful even though I probably wouldn’t have described it that way when I was delivering the papers.

My home was smack dab in the middle of my paper route. I had it from about the time I was in 4th grade until about 8th grade. It didn’t matter the weather, every day I went out. Although sometimes my dad graciously offered to drive his car when the papers were especially big or the weather was especially atrocious.

My paper route gave me a reason to take what ended up being a meditative walk every day, but unfortunately, those days of delivering newspapers probably won’t be around for my children. I’ve seen my sister sadly let go of her route when the Standard Examiner decided they would no longer drop off her papers at my parents home for her. It didn’t make financial sense to continue the job. The Deseret News and The Salt Lake Tribune recently announced they will no longer be daily newspaper starting on January 1, 2021. Their weekly newspaper will be delivered by mail from here on out. According to the New York Times, “The economic decline caused by the coronavirus pandemic has pummeled a local newspaper industry already struggling with declining revenues, layoffs and pay reductions in newsrooms across the country.” This doesn’t mean stories won’t be written, but we will need to go online to read them.

As our world shifts, let us not forget the role the newspaper plays in our society. It helps keep us accountable. It brings to light things the average person might not know about. The bad news that so many want to avoid can help us make changes to the way we approach the future. The good news can help us see the progress we have made and be inspired by those around us. The information we read can help us make educated decisions or lead us to research further into an issue. We can think critically about what we read or listen to and discuss our opinions with others. The news gives us things to think about that might not have otherwise crossed our minds. The press is a critical element in our freedom so I hope we can support it during these times of change.

The Deseret News and The Salt Lake Tribune recently announced they will no longer be a daily newspaper starting on January 1, 2021.

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