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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 04:10 PM ET, 06/07/2012

Print-schedule decline threatens great American boast


(SHANNON STAPLETON - REUTERS)
The trend toward a reduction in newspaper printing schedules needs to stop. Publishing a paper a mere three or so times a week: 1) tears the newspaper from the community; 2) trains readers to ignore it; and 3) caters primarily to the needs of advertisers. Those are pretty well established.

Yet let’s not forget another important reason for resisting this scourge: Reducing the publication schedule could mess with one of the most durable and obnoxious self-promotion tools of the public intellectual/politician/media star. Listen to New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who recently told a tech conference, “I still read eight newspapers a day.” That’s quite an assertion of newsy worldliness.

And it echoes the words of under-siege, longtime Washington Times columnist Arnaud de Borchgrave, who dropped an ocho on the Erik Wemple Blogger in response to questions about his respect for copyrighted material. “I read eight newspapers every day,” he said in an interview.

Reuters media expert Jack Shafer recently claimed a per diem of “four dailies.”

Warren Buffett’s got him beat, at five.

A sixth grader’s dad clocks in at three.

Los Angeles author/inventor Cy Tymony, six.

Someone’s mom, three.

Len Withington, 12 (according to his daughter).

Will Davis, three.

And so on.

Just think of the havoc a mass decline in printing schedules would prompt. Extremely well-informed individuals would have to amend their claims: “I read three newspapers Monday and Tuesday, 12 on Wednesday, three on Thursday, 10 on Friday, none on Saturday, and 14 on Sunday.” Or simpler — “I read an average of 4.5 newspapers per day.”

Newspaper publishers, don’t ruin the great American multiple-newspaper-reading boast.

By  |  04:10 PM ET, 06/07/2012

 
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