Like the rising and setting of the sun or the meter of a good melody, there’s a pleasing regular flow to reading a daily newspaper. You ingest the news not as it happens, but a few hours after it occurs, which keeps it fresh while allowing those who report it the time to provide some depth and perspective in what they write. The size of each day’s news hole is fairly predictable, so you know how much time you’ll need each day to stay current.
Contrast that with what we’re now dealing with in the Wednesday-Friday-Sunday T-P: Four empty days, interspersed with three on which a bloated newsroll arrives at our curb full of warmed-over pap and catch-up reports, in which many items are reprints of shallow, unedited stories that were originally rushed onto the web in order to spin the hamster wheel. Four days a week we have nothing to read, but three days a week we get the newspaper equivalent of the bad all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. (But gee, there sure are lots of ads!)
Certainly, what I’ve described is an intangible value; but it’s an important one. As Advance Publications milks the T-P of all its worth, the intangibles — the things that constitute a newspaper’s goodwill — are being liquidated along with our reading habits.