No 6 in a series about being a paperboy in the 60's
Television gave people more or less a summary of important events in national and local news. The newspaper gave all of the details and opinions along with many other benefits.
Just like the internet, paperboys were the connection between the news publishers and the reading community.
We were very essential to the political education of the masses. Opinions and feelings were formed through the news that we delivered.
If for whatever reason you missed a house you would most certainly hear about it. You would either get a call direct to your home (there were no mobiles or beepers) or the area manager would have to drive down and deliver a paper themselves, and that would be very bad.
People don’t think about the internet in friendly terms. It’s just like electricity or water. Should just be there. And that is how I think most people felt about the paper boy. We were just supposed to be there.
A few would appreciate us by giving tips, a cup cake or a friendly hi. Most, however, just expected us to be there at a certain time, or else.
We did a job. Not thinking much about how important we were, but realising that if we didn’t perform, we would hear about it. I suppose an ISP customer support would say about the same thing.
Not everybody subscribed to get a newspaper. Based on my routes I suspect that only 20% of the people read a newspaper. The rest just got their news from hearsay or the 5 o’clock news. It’s probably the same today. People watch their news and don’t read.
Looking at it in another way, can we say the internet is nothing but a paperboy?