Monday, April 14, 2014

Green Tea & The New York Times

Kathy Cooney Dobbs

    Yesterday after church, I had the pleasant experience of sitting in Starbucks drinking a refreshing glass  of  iced green tea while casually reading through my two favorite sections of The New York Times - Book Review , and Arts&Leisure.

    I don't often read print editions of the newspaper, I primarily  read articles on line now, most often The Spokesman-Review and Los Angeles Times. But having the paper in my hand with its  newsprint smell and inky feel reminded me of how important reading the daily paper once was to me, especially the Sunday paper. Turning actual pages, seeing the layout, perusing each headline.
    Statistics show print media is struggling , subscriptions and readership are down.  Many reasons are cited , not the least being the immergence of the internet .  But yesterday while browsing the paper ,  I thought how newspapers  once provided fertile ground for  young writers to hone their skill. Learning to work with an editor, rewriting and editing a story, and the pressure to  meet a copy deadline.  I thought of my own long ago days when I was one of those young writers just out of college , and was hired to write feature  stories for a community newspaper in Southern California. The editor  stressed what my journalism instructors did about writing a news story, the importance of five W's and H - Who, What, Where , When, Why and How.   

    The same  can be helpful for other genre's as well. In the telling of any story , fiction or non-fiction the reader is wanting to know who the story  is about, what is their purpose , where are they, when is the time frame, why did the characters act like they did,  and how any conflict is resolved. 

    Prior to the internet  and 24 hour cable, Newspapers were a primary source providing  news and other information for the average person;  Crime stories, society, sports, politics, obituaries, opinion, food, theater, advertisement.

    In yesterday's New York Times I found many articles informative, and interesting,  including Laemmle's List: A Mogul's Heroism , a biographical sketch by movie critic, Neal Gabler about Carl Laemmle, a founder of Universal Pictures and East Meets West, Over Cocktails - a history and recollection of vanished Chinese nightclubs. I was surprised to learn during its heyday in the 1940's, the Forbidden City in San Francisco billed itself as "the world's most famous nightclub" which often included celebrities like Bob Hope and Lauren Bacall in the audience. Then there were the Display ads touting Broadway shows, an upcoming movie release, and the American Ballet Theater.

    I discovered drinking green tea and reading The Times makes for a happy union, and rediscovered the pleasure of reading the Sunday paper - something I plan to do more often.



Lila Bolme said...

Just want to thank all of you at Writing North Idaho for the inspiring articles. I look forward to getting each post in my email inbox. And now, in April - the author name started showing up in the emailed post! Thank you VERY MUCH for that. I love to know who is speaking to me as I read the emails.

Kathy Cooney Dobbs said...

Thank you, Lila, for taking time to read Writing North Idaho! We appreciate your input , and encourage you to keep writing!

Patty said...

I'd forgotten how interesting a real newspaper can be...good reminder & let's hope we never see their complete demise!