I’m Gonna Miss Ink-Stained Fingers

Never thought I’d be one. Someone who would trade a paper copy of the local newspaper for an online edition. Someone who’d drink their first cup of coffee with a laptop or desktop computer screen in front of them. Someone who’d give up the ability to take a sports section and a business section of the local paper off to the bathroom.

Now…it seems possible.

I got an e-mail yesterday telling me that I have the opportunity to subscribe to online coverage of my Auburn Tigers for $89.00 a year (that’s a savings of about 20 bucks). Perhaps you’ve gotten such an offer from the good folks at ESPN.

Earlier this summer, The Entertainment Sports Network hired away some of the best newspaper football beat reporters in the country. Phillip Marshall, who covered the Auburn Tigers for the Huntsville Times for a very long time, jumped over to the growing staff of ESPN after first takingmuch of his work online for the Times and Al.com.

I followed Phillip’s work through my RSS feed for several months. Apparently, ESPN did too. At the beginning of the summer, it launched AuburnUndercover.com with Phillip as its primary reporter or executive editor.

I’m sure ESPN did the same for every other school. I learned in the newsroom today that ESPN also hired away some of the best newspaper beat reporters in each NFL city to blog daily about their team or division.

I was going to blog about that but then I saw this: a letter from a reader of the Wall Street Journal which said he would no longer receive the newspaper in his driveway the day of publication, because it costs too much to deliver it. Instead, he would be getting full access to the WSJ website.

Now, I’m not ready to make the move away from a paper copy of my morning Tennessean, but I know some who do. My question is have you either stopped a subscription to a newspaper delivery in favor of the free online edition?   And if so…do you miss having the paper in your fingers?

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