Connections: Must Have News


Call it an addiction, but I’ve been bereft this week without The New York Times. I have had a copy delivered to my door pretty much every day of my adult life, but suddenly it has ceased to appear. My husband has called every day, even managing to reach a real, live human being, and has consistently been reassured that not only will the next day’s paper arrive, but all the back copies, too. It hasn’t happened, and we are a week into this saga. Crisis!

I am only being half facetious. While it is true that we have other means of accessing The Times — the laptop, on which I receive my “Daily Briefing,” the cellphone, on which my husband relies — these digital versions provide only so much of what is in the print edition, and for a news junkie like me it just isn’t enough. 

Sinking into a newspaper in print is my morning ritual. With my morning Times in hand, I settle on the sun porch. I begin by flipping through the pages and reading headlines. Usually, after finishing the first story that catches my eye, I go back and start on the front page again. I always have a nagging feeling that I might miss something of importance.

Maybe I’m just old-fashioned. Young people, even members of my family and The Star’s staff, don’t seem to need the daily Times. They apparently pick up headlines here and there via email or social media and know everything about everything crucial in the day’s news without sitting down and focusing on it. I have the nagging feeling that maybe they are the ones missing something.

We’re still trying to solve the mystery of the missing Times. Is some early morning dog walker purloining our copy? Is there a new delivery person who doesn’t know how to find Edwards Lane, the street we live on? (We are rather off the map, as a private road.) Should I draw up a sign with a huge arrow pointing up the driveway? 

To be honest, The Times isn’t the only news source I’m addicted to. Come evening, I must have the “PBS NewsHour,” and then I like to go to MSNBC to see what it is focusing on, and then I switch to Fox News for a while to get the other side of the story, and then go back to MSNBC to catch Rachel Maddow. 

My husband doesn’t join me in all this. He is more a digital-screen junkie than a news junkie. Even though he sits in the same room as I flip through my evening television news cycle, he concentrates on his computer the whole time (these days, doing research and writing on one of his great-grandfathers, a noted architect of the Gilded Age). And therein lies the difference between us: He is younger than me, turning 78 in August. Does that make him young enough to be a member of the digital generation?