Print or Digital?: There's Only One Choice

Submitted by: Phil Riebel 06/03/2012

Sitting alone at Mission Diner, nursing a cup of coffee while waiting for an omelet on a sunny weekend afternoon, my friendly server did that most wonderful of things: she offered me a newspaper.

May 8, 2012

Sitting alone at Mission Diner, nursing a cup of coffee while waiting for an omelette on a sunny weekend afternoon, my friendly server did that most wonderful of things: she offered me a newspaper.

Granted, I work in newspapers, so I may be a bit biased, but it warms my heart to be offered a paper while lingering in a cafe.

Itís not like I was lacking in choice of diversions. In this age of technology, I had choices. Lots and lots of choices.

I could have reached into my man purse and pulled out my iPhone to read the newspaper in one of my myriad newspaper apps. Or, I could have swiped through the virtual pages of the Heraldís iPad edition, also within easy reach in my man purse. Instead, I cheerfully accepted the newspapers offered to me by my server. It just seemed Ö right.

Iím part of that strange in-between generation of readers (and journos) where both print and digital seem equally familiar. For breaking news, I turn to the web or the iPhone, where sites and apps like the Heraldís have stories long before the evening newscasts. For evenings on the sofa or while commuting to the office on the Ctrain, I appreciate the feel of the iPad for newspaper reading.

But to accompany an omelette brunch at a funky little diner in Mission? It was a no-brainer. The intoxicating smell of the ink and newsprint mingling with the steam wafting off my coffee Ö it was heavenly.

Iím a digital evangelist through and through, but I canít help but hope print editions are around long enough for my grandchildren to be able to drop crumbs between stories while peanut-buttering a slice of future-toast.

At brunch, the iPad stays in the bag.