Anybody who knows me fairly well should know that I have a particular fondness for newspapers. I’ve always been an avid consumer of the art form known as the newspaper. I read all kinds of newspapers, from the small-town local ones to the nationally – and sometimes internationally – renowned ones. I suppose you could say my love of newspapers was something I inherited from my father’s side of the family, since both he and his father, my grandfather, have (well, had, in the case of my grandfather) an affinity to newspapers.
Although the bulk of the news that makes up the present-day newspapers can usually be found easily within the cornucopia of constantly-updating news websites, it is hard for the internet to replicate the feeling you get by holding a newspaper in your hands. Newspapers are also a truly portable source of information; it’s very easy to bring a newspaper with you wherever you go, but much harder to take the internet along, albeit it may a bit easer to do so now, thanks to the expansion of wireless internet "hotspots."
One more thing great about newspapers is their relatively cheap prices. Even the USA Today, a newspaper with so much to offer that it could literally take hours to read from cover to cover, is a mere $0.75 at the newsstand, and an even punier $0.60 for subscribers. Meanwhile, we in the Brainerd area are also lucky to be able pick up the St. Paul Pioneer Press, a fine, informative newspaper in its own right, for only $0.25. Just think, you can read about all that is happening in the world for a smaller price than a package of gum at most convenience stores and in most vending machines.
So anyway, where I’m going with this entry is to a link that I think will pique your interest in newspapers. The website I want to share is www.newsseum.org.
Now, ostensibly, this is the website for a Washington D.C. museum dedicated to the history and nuances of newsgathering in the United States and the world. Indeed, to read more about the actual museum, which is still in the process of a multimillion dollar move from Arlington, Virginia to Washington D.C., you can click here.
For me, however, one of my favorite parts about the Newseum’s website is its Today’s Front Pages section, which is available by clicking here. The Newseum has managed to partner with hundreds of newspapers all over the world to allow visitors to its website the chance to see what the front page of, oh, say, Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin looks like today.
As can be expected, the majority of the front pages on the Newseum’s website come from newspapers in the United States. Just about every major city in the United States has its newspaper featured in the collection, from the Abilene, Texas Abilene Reporter-News to the York, Pennsylvania York Daily Record. In addition to the United States newspapers, though, the Newseum also contains a sizable number of international papers; enough, anyway, to keep any international affairs aficionado satisfied.
In case you were wondering, the precise reason why I thought it'd be good to break out this link today is due to the Pope’s passing away. Anytime there is a major worldwide event as large as this, it is always interesting to see nearly all of the almost 350 newspapers on the Museum’s website have the same story in bold letters on the front page. I thought you would like to take a gander at what the headlines for Sunday’s newspapers look like, too, so that’s why I’m sharing this link with you.
A tip on using the Newseum’s front pages website: on the top of http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/, click on 'map view' or 'list by region' to get a better sense of just what newspapers the museum has in the collection. Also, the 'archived pages' section has front pages from dates of other major world events, like the December 2004 tsunami. It’s something to check out if you have a fast connection to the internet and are looking for something to do.
One last note, don't forget that the Newseum has PDFs of each of the newspapers, so you can easily zoom in and get a better look at the front pages. You could even read some of the articles as well.