Your typical metropolitan newspaper was like a good breakfast: an assortment of information nutrition to get you started for the day. You got a mix of local, state, national and international stories — the fruit, meat and fiber you need to be reasonably informed and clear-minded about the state of the world that morning. But you might nibble on some celebrity gossip, sample a society or lifestyle column, scan the sports box scores, picking up all the information that interests you, plus some incidental information that gets absorbed along the way. If you were to consume the paper in its entirety, you would no doubt be a well-rounded, informed individual — at least for a day.
Needless to say, one-third of US adults say they eat breakfast regularly. About the same proportion consumes newspapers reguarly. I wouldn’t go far as to say one caused the other but surely they correlate in some way — but it is awfully interesting to observe. In many households, eating a nice breakfast is likely reserved for the weekends, as is perusing a good newspaper or magazine. And so, it’s not hard to imagine more newspaper subscriptions becoming weekend-only.
Nowadays, it’s much preferable for working-class people to check their laptops or smartphones whilst nibbling toast and sipping their morning coffee. The newspaper simply has no place at the kitchen table.
And just in case you’re wondering, this won’t be the last time I compare newspapers and media to food.