At the risk of falling into the trap that dooms most blogs (thinking that my microscopic readership cares in the least about some tedious detail of my life), I’ve decided to try a little experiment. For a few weeks, I am going to time how long it takes me each day to read the local daily paper. Riveting, huh? I’ll also post on other topics during the two weeks, but if my readership drops to zero (as I expect it might), I’ll stop my experiment and try to write something that someone actually cares about.
Despite my criticisms of most local daily papers, I will admit, as I have before, that I read 3 newspapers every day (the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times). In fact, I get quite agitated by about 10AM if I haven’t read at least 2 of those 3 papers (I usually read the Times at night when I have more time). It’s just a part of my daily routine that I am not sure I could do without. But the major problem I’m having these days is that the time it takes me to get through the Minneapolis Star Tribune is shrinking all the time, to the point where I am not sure why I feel like I cannot live without that part of my day. I get all my national and world news from the New York Times, The Economist, NPR, and a handful of daily podcasts, so I typically breeze through the front section, stopping only on interesting local stories and the editorial page. I read the local section to find out what is going on at the capitol, maybe read a sports story or 2, glance at the business section (which is an absolute joke), read Dilbert and Doonsbury, and I’m done. It takes about 10 minutes – maybe a little more if I find a good story or two, and less if there isn’t much to read. Most of that 10 minutes is spent starting up my laptop, launching the applications I need to start working, and deleting spam in my email inbox. With each post on my daily reading time, I will also try to add a recommendation to improve the paper. So here is the result from day one:
It took me 14 minutes and 45 seconds to read the paper this morning, as there was a good article on the Twins starting spring training and how brutally competitive the AL Central is going to be this year.
My recommendation for the day is to completely eliminate the stock listings in the business section and use the savings to hire another business reporter to actually write something interesting in the business section of the paper. When was the last time anyone actually looked up the price of a stock in the paper?