Local Newspapers: ‘The Heartbeat of Any Great Place’
Travel Blog • Michael Yessis • 09.15.10 | 4:55 PM ET
Daisann McLane is no luddite. She reads newspapers online when she’s at home. When she’s on the road, though, bring on the ink smudges.
For a long time I thought it was just coincidence that so many of the places I gravitated to as a traveler—Colombia, India, the West Indies, London, Hong Kong—also happen to be places with a lively, even raucous, newspaper scene. (In this “post-print” era, Hong Kong’s citizens defy the pundits by continuing to support 15 to 16 daily newspapers.) But as I travel to more cities and countries and read more local newspapers, I realize they’re in the same category as public squares, street markets, and local coffee shops. They’re the heartbeat of any great place. When I visit regions that, because of political repression or economics, don’t have a good daily paper, I feel like something is missing, as though there’s a lack of oxygen in the air. Havana was wonderful, but it would have been even better if I’d awakened, as I did that time in Veracruz, to the “Music! Happiness! Wounded bulls!” headline.