iPad for Breakfast

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My professor asked me to explain which type of media I rely on for most of my news, and why?

I still love newspapers, even though I seldom buy hard copies of them anymore. There is nothing like going to my favorite diner on a Sunday morning and picking up a copy of the local paper to read while I have sunny-side-up eggs, bacon, and toast.

However, I do find myself pulling out my iPad and accessing a digital copy these days. There is no folding the paper, and no switching from the front page to page A19 to finish a story.

Despite my fond memories of rummaging through my pockets for a fist-full-of-quarters, and then, engaging in a nonstop origami session to get my copy of the Washington Post down to a wieldy size, I must admit, the digital format of the newspaper reigns supreme on my breakfast table, but that is only half the story.

What I like best about the reading the news, as opposed to TV or radio news broadcasts, is that the coverage can be significantly more in-depth.

Plus, if the waitress comes over to refill my coffee, I can always go back and pick up reading from where I left off. If someone starts talking to you while you are watching Scott Pelley announce the CBS Evening News, you are going to miss something, either that, or you are going to have to shush whoever is talking to you, and I never think that is a good idea.

There is even a greater reason to rely on digital editions of newspapers. Let’s say that you are following a long-running story and want some more background. A couple of swipes and jabs at your iPad and you can pull up a previous story, or more importantly, check another source.

Not that I am paranoid, but I do think one needs to be a little suspicious and critical of any news organization’s tone and spin on a particular topic.

Let’s face it, we humans are inherently flawed, and although we sometimes do magnificent things when we band together in groups, we are never immune from moral and ethical failure. Corporations, government agencies, newspapers, activist groups, and even churches can make dreadful decisions and become untrustworthy.

No, I am not claiming that a few swipes and jabs on your iPad will protect you from misinformation, it won’t. However, it is a powerful tool that puts a tremendous amount of information at your fingertips. It is still up to the reader to analyze all of that information in between dabbing your toast into your eggs.

If you use that tool the right way, you can be so much more informed than that guy sitting two stools away, who is constantly folding and unfolding his copy of the New York Times.

The print edition of the newspaper has a lot of charm and I understand those who are nostalgic for it; however, rotary phones are charming too, but we said goodbye to them with much less fuss.

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