All The News That's Fit To Print

The New York Times is a marvel. I’ve been reading it every day for years. It was early in August of 1955 when I first discovered the paper. I was in New York on the way back to my home in Los Angeles, after attending summer school in the East.

The paper was lying around a coffee shop, I picked it up and began reading an article about Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court case that had been decided the previous year. I knew nothing about the Times having been raised on the Los Angeles Times, and latter, when I was at college, the San Francisco Chronicle.

In those days, the Times did not have a West Coast edition and was only available in a few magazine shops the day after it was published in New York. In the summer of 1980 the paper began publishing a national edition that was available the same day it was published, but again, only in a few magazine shops.

I stopped on my way to work to grab a copy that I read in the evening after classes and those never-ending faculty committee meetings. Home delivery in Portland began many years later.

I continued to read the Times in the morning for years, even in Hawaii when it was delivered a day after its publication. In all this discussion I am talking about the print edition. It wasn’t until 1996 that the Times began it’s online, digital edition.

That is how I read the Times now. It is my “home page” that I return to throughout the day and thanks to the miracle of Wi-Fi, wherever I am in this country or abroad. I read the literary news, sports, health, tech, science, business, a couple of blogs, everything in this remarkable newspaper.

Earlier this fall (9/21/15) the Times reported, “We recently passed one million digital-only subscribers, reflecting the remarkable bond that The Times has built with readers on our digital platforms. They join our 1.1 million print-and-digital subscribers.”

I also subscribe to the the Times numerous email alerts—books, writers, morning briefing, business news, the Upshot, the Times Magazine and Sunday Book Review, on and on, a plethora of skillful reporting.

Regardless of one’s view of the Times political stance, the paper is a daily encyclopedia of subjects. The Gray Lady as it is often referred to is regarded as the national “newspaper” of record, even though its print edition is outsold by The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

To a certain extent, the Times has replaced the New Yorker as the place I go to for information, especially cultural commentary and analysis--films, books, theater. If someone asked me what wanted most, while I was stranded in a far off island, I would reply at once: the latest edition of the New York Times.