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I was watching a television program one night last week and missed a line that one of the actors uttered. Not too long ago, I would have had to wait until reruns came along to crank up the audio and listen again — to see if I could catch the phrase.
Having cable and a DVR, it’s easy enough to hit the pause button, then go back and play that part of the TV program again and see if I can understand it the second time through.
Ah, the benefits of technology.
When I listen to the radio on my way into work each morning, I try to catch the overnight news from central Indiana and occasionally will miss a detail in those broadcasts, too.
Note to self: When was the last time you got your hearing checked?
There is no DVR technology in the car radio, at least not in mine. Getting and comprehending the full story in a radio broadcast can be a challenge, especially when you are trying to keep the sedan between the white lines and avoid getting rear-ended in the fog, as we had to do during the morning commute a few days last week.
But when I think about reading the newspaper, as people have been doing for hundreds of years, there’s no reason to panic when a honking horn, barking dog or some other loud noise or impromptu event distracts us. You just go back to the beginning of the sentence or paragraph and start again.
That’s old technology trumping new technology.
Life comes at us at 100 miles per hour, providing potential distractions at every turn. Sometimes you need the ability to stop and take care of whatever else needs your attention — tending to dinner on the stove, an incoming phone call or taking out the garbage.
When that happens, here are my recommendations. Read them carefully and commit them to memory.
Calmly fold the newspaper.
Place it in on the coffee table.
Get up and do what must be done.
When accomplished, return to your reading position.
Calmly reopen the newspaper and pick up where you left off.
“Wow. Why didn’t I think of that! Let me go grab some scissors right now to cut this out and tape it to the refrigerator for next time.”
If that’s what you are thinking, well, OK. But exaggeration is a technique sometimes used to make a point.
For most of us, newspapers are a reliable, convenient, easy-to-use source of local information.
And it just so happens that today is the start of National Newspaper Week, which has a theme of “Your Community, Your Newspaper, Your Life.”
Interestingly, “your newspaper” is right in the middle of “your community” and “your life.”
I don’t know how deeply the slogan-makers considered the exact order of the words, but they got it right. The local newspaper really ought to be in the middle of your community and your life.
The Republic’s physical location, smack dab in the middle of Columbus, supports that idea. Let there also be no doubt that The Republic’s niche is covering the local community. It’s our first, second and third priorities — in news, lifestyle and sports coverage.
And while the daily editorial reflects the newspaper’s position on local matters of importance or interest, we also open our newspaper columns to you, our readers, to agree or disagree with us if you wish.
We’re glad when you do. Because it also is your community, your life and — yes — your newspaper.
Now, if you had to hit the pause button on your TV remote control to finish reading this column, go ahead and hit “play” again. But before you do, I just want to say thanks for reading.
Tom Jekel is editor of The Republic. His column appears each Sunday. You may reach him by phone at 379-5665 or by email at email@example.com.
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