A Look at the Bygone Days of Newspaper Publishing
There is a story in today's paper that is a recap of a very local discussion about our paper of record here in Charlottesville, VA. The thing that struck me is a very small item that, until I read this article, was completely under my radar. It tells a story that I was directly involved in for several years, but that I had completely forgotten about.
This article discusses the change that many American newspapers, including The Daily Progress here in Charlottesville, made from an afternoon paper to a morning paper. This happened because after WW2 Americans received their "news" after dinner from television instead of the newspaper.
One of the benefits of the move is that it made the papers' information more timely and relevant. City council meetings which happen in the evening could be dissected and reported about in the morning paper. But some of the changes may not have been so beneficial.
The change in delivery time changed the actual delivery system. As the author points out, "Before The Progress announced it was going to become a morning paper, it had 70 youth carriers. Within a week, 56 of them had quit."
I, too, was a paper boy. For about two years I delivered to Long Island homes a paper called Newsday. It was probably my first meaningful job. Sure I cut lawns in the neighborhood and did small things for small change, but delivering a newspaper is a real job with real adult-like responsibilities. It was a commitment for six days a week, every day without fail. It forced me to meet and greet my customers, as I had to ring the bell once a week to collect payment. So I had to manage money, manage schedules, and be the delivery person of record.
I'm guessing that as society has changed young boys and girls no longer get this early education system into the business world. Where do kids today get an opportunity to learn an assorted set of life skills, like delivering a newspaper, to introduce them to the responsible world of business?
I had completely forgotten my paper route until reading this article and wonder if there are other paper people who have fond memories of one of their earliest jobs in the publishing business.