LIFE/Catherine and her newspaper


There is something purely nostalgic about newspaper, at least to an American. The smell and touch of a newspaper are sense memories that have always stayed with me through my life. The dampness and silkiness of the paper and the smell of fresh ink always come to my mind when I think of news.

As newspapers in America have become less environmentally friendly and more costly to produce than posting stories online, the most news outlet have started to prefer online versions, making it easier for us to get the news we need.

Now our news experience is filled with apps, websites, emails, and radio. The print has been left behind as we become busier and less interested in the world around us.

Uniquely, there is the myth of the American newspaper experience. We have all seen in it the movies. Little boys, just at the break of dawn, throw rolled-up newspapers to each person’s door, and the gleeful receiver comes out in the morning in slippers and a robe to pick up the paper.

Maybe in the past this was a realistic experience, but now it has disappeared. This idyllic image has been replaced with live update apps and email newspaper subscriptions.

But in Italy, they have not forgotten the simplicity of the daily paper.

Here in Italy, there are real buildings full of newspaper, magazines, and other reading material hung up, ready for consumers.

The accessibility to the news in a physical form is likened to the way of life in Italy. It is grounded in the sense of the everyday, and the realness of the moment. The action of going to the stand, shelling out your coins, and walking down the busy street with the paper tucked under your arm is a way to force you to live each day. It is an action unique to every day.

We do not have this experience when we receive our news in an online format. It often becomes a routine that is indistinguishable as it happens the same way everyday. The front page of a news website changes, and while the articles are still there, it will never be the same as it was.

Whereas that newspaper, though thrown into the recycle bin, imprints itself in that day as something that will never change. The ink will never be stamped in that exact pattern again, and it becomes a fossil of the past.

I have adapted to how news works in America, but I cannot help but romanticize the appreciation for the physicality of the news here. To me, it is just another way I am coming to understand this marvelous culture.

Hi! My name is Catherine Wheeler. I study English Writing at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. This semester I am studying Italian and journalism at Università degli Studi della Tuscia. In my free time, I love to read, cook, and travel.

Ciao! Mi chiamo Catherine Wheeler. Io studio di scrittura in inglese a Fort Lewis College di Durango, Colorado . Questo semestre Sto studiando italiano e giornalismo presso l’Università degli Studi della Tuscia. Nel mio tempo libero, mi piace leggere, cucinare, e viaggi.