Newspaper sales certain to spike Wednesday

Tuesday, November 8, 2016by  Jon Osterberg
Tomorrow morning, after I grab The Seattle Times off my doorstep and read it over breakfast, I'll store it with my collection. Whether it's Hillary or Trump who wins tonight, that newspaper will report a landmark event.
     Yes, I still subscribe to a print newspaper. Can't give up reading it each morning with my Heritage Flakes cereal or bacon and eggs.
     And today I learned that every four years when an election rolls around, hordes of other Americans buy the Wednesday newspaper, even if they've gone entirely digital in consuming their news.
     "Paper has a certain kind of look and feel and smell to it that digital equivalents don't," says a professor quoted in an Associated Press story headlined, "Print newspapers are dead? Not after historic elections."
     The article says The Seattle Times will double the number of issues it prints tomorrow, like many major dailies across the country. You don't believe readers will buy them? Well, just last week the Chicago Tribune printed 700,000 extra copies after the Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1908.
     Since childhood I've collected print media with memorable headlines and stories. From "Man walks on moon" to "Nixon resigns" to "Champs!" after the Seahawks Super Bowl blowout, I have boxes of noteworthy newspapers and magazines tucked away in my garage.
     My photos posted here capture some of those Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer headlines, which arouse vivid memories. Like when Jimmy Carter was elected in 1976, and how he later seemed so refreshingly unpretentious as he walked the parade route on inauguration day. And like the empty anguish I felt after the murder of John Lennon.
     I was curious just how out of step I might be with current trends, so I asked our core group of writers at PEMCO if they still subscribe to a print newspaper. Three said no, including a fellow baby boomer who stopped his subscription just two months ago.
     Three including me said yes, they still subscribe. One is a former Times and P-I reporter who said, "I keep up with current news via the Times online, but still enjoy sitting down with the print edition because I find stories I wouldn’t otherwise seek out." Another colleague said, "The Times accompanies me to breakfast. I’ll keep taking it until they kill it off completely. (Then, I’ll look for another one!)"
     Even if you're not a collector, you might find and save tomorrow's newspaper for your descendants. Your grandkids or their offspring might someday enjoy holding an unwieldy mass of authentic newsprint in their hands as they gush, "Wow, this was the first woman ever elected president!" or, "Did we really elect a reality-TV star for president?"

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