This week's this American Life is titled "This I Used to Believe," based off of the "This I Believe" Web site, which lead me back to the blog post that has been gnawing, tickling the back of my brain and the back of my throat.

It's been almost two years ago since I graduated, two years ago since I wrote "the nervous feeling that it’s going to be a long time before I find another paper that will be able to make me cry and laugh."

In the last month, this blog has been dominated by my sappy, unhelpful cries to save the Boston Globe. I have a post in the works about my actual critiques of that newspaper and the role it could and should play. But for now, a quick reflection that while the Boston Globe has yet to make me laugh the same way my college newspaper did, it certainly has made me cry.

Last week my friend sent me this excerpt from a column on

For the past few years, as newspapers got slowly crushed by myriad factors, a phalanx of top writers and editors fled for the greener pastures of the Internet. The quality of nearly every paper suffered, as did morale. Just two weeks ago, reports surfaced that the New York Times Company (which owns the Globe) was demanding $20 million in union concessions or it'd shut down the Globe completely. I grew up dreaming of writing a sports column for the Globe; now the paper might be gone before I turn 40. It's inconceivable.

My eyes heated. And I told him. I can't read this. I can't read anything about the death of newspapers, the death of the Boston Globe.

I too have dreamed about working for the Boston Globe, at least since I was ten. There were other internships I really wanted: I really wanted to work for the Washington Post, I really wanted to work for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, but when the recruitment editor from the Boston Globe called me to tell me I didn't get the internship I wanted there, I sat on my bed in my college dorm and cried. When I got the official e-mail a month later, I cried again. Every time I imagine the idea that I will never get the chance to apply for a job at let alone work for my hometown newspaper, I worry I will cry again.

At my parent's house outside of Boston, I had flashbacks when I picked up the paper at Walgreen's (annoyed that my parents have chosen the Times). Alex Beam's column is the first newspaper column I read. The first thing outside of the comics and Student Page. I was floored when I met his son, but I only realized this week how much the senior Beam's column was part of my Globe reading experience, which was in turn part of the beginning of my love affair with newspapers. My official narrative about realizing I had become a metro reporter with the quirks and passion that comes with it, has nothing to do with the Globe, it has to do with my amazing college city editors. But I realize now that the metro reporting at the Globe, which I still respect and admire, was part of my inspiration and push towards the city section of my college newspaper.

I used to believe that the first newspaper I had a hand in editing would be the only one to make me cry. Now I know, it's the first newspaper I read that can have a similar effect. I believe in the importance of hometown newspapers.
Another take on dying newspapers from the comic, Candorville:

6 Responses to 'This I Used to Believe: Newspapers That Make Me Cry'

  1. Anonymous said...'> May 2, 2009 at 5:35 PM

    Please update your links for my blog.



  2. Anonymous said...'> May 4, 2009 at 7:57 PM

    The link for Candorville is broken. You need to remove the part for it to work.


  3. L said...'> May 12, 2009 at 11:36 PM

    Anon: fixed!
    Holywriter, I don't see where I linked to you...


  4. L said...'> May 12, 2009 at 11:38 PM

    Holywriter, but thanks for reading. Your blog is a lot of fun.


  5. Anonymous said...'> July 14, 2009 at 7:56 AM

    Actually, that's not just any espn column, it's Bill Simmons - I recommend him as the #1 (of, really, a mere few) writer in the sports world.


  6. Anonymous said...'> November 6, 2009 at 6:28 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Search This Blog

Contact Me

Written Pyramids is a blog written by a journalist living and working in Washington D.C.

I have left my real name off of the blog so as not to imply that the blog is somehow linked with the journalism I get paid to do. (Still, I never write about my beat on this blog, and rarely express opinions about the day's news regardless of its relationship to my beat).

I would love to hear from you. If you want to contact me directly rather than leaving a comment here, I can be reached at

Blog Archive

Books pyramid image originally from the British website, Explore Writing.