Sprint from print

I was a newspaper snob. In my book, print was superior to cyber.

That’s because all my life – even before I became a journalist – the sight of a rolled newspaper in my driveway filled me with a Pavlovian sense of joy, contentment and routine.  

My coffee waited for me on the kitchen table as I walked outside, scooped up the paper and freed it from its rubber band or, in wet weather, plastic wrapper.

Each edition was a gift, an informational miracle of birth. Every day I felt such anticipation that I’d often scan the front page on my walk back to the house. I just couldn’t wait.

I was a loyal newspaper reader. I was an even more dedicated newspaper journalist. I defended newspapers in general, and the Record Searchlight in particular.

Not only did I not think it one bit funny when people – even in fun – called my hometown paper the Wretched Flashlight, but it really ticked me off.

Then I was fired by a new editor, a guy younger than my stoneware. 

My newspaper career was over. OK, so you know that story. And I’ve said I’m moving on. I really mean it this time.

It helps to move on because I’m not alone. You’ve joined me here in Cyberland, an amazingly interactive, symbiotic place.  

I write and you read. You write and I read. 

We lay fingers upon our respective computer keyboards in our respective cities and countries – tappity, tap, tap, tap.

Manhattan and Mexico. China and Chico.  Orland and Ostrava. Igo and Idaho. Redding and Red Bluff. Paris and Paradise. And places between.

We swap ideas and trivia and solutions and information. We feed each other words of wisdom, honesty, comfort and joy. 

The immediacy of this e-news world is so new and wonderful to me that I actually laugh out loud and say, “How about that!” when I log on and read your queries and replies about all kinds of things:

Becky’s desire for alcohol-free alternatives for orange liqueur in a cranberry relish recipe (kindly answered by Andrea). Grammalyn’s observation about weird font sizes (answered by my son Joe in the Czech Republic). Erin’s update about how her butternut squash ravioli turned out (delicious, in case you’re wondering). Barbara’s blogging advice (note to self: skip ‘went-to-the-dry-cleaner-today’ diaries).

I’m so excited to see what happens next. 

I’ll bet I don’t have long to wait.   


Doni Chamberlain

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded A News Cafe in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain holds a Bachelor's Degree in journalism from CSU, Chico. She's an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She's been featured and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, L.A. Times, Slate. Bloomberg News and on CNN, KQED and KPFA. She lives in Redding, California.

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