Picking up that newspaper I felt so much like a man from back in the day

News at 18. Experts in place of journalists, video essays better than articles

One of the main problems with Italian newspapers is how daunting they are to new readers. How can I approach a political subject I know nothing about when the journalists are lost in an auto-referential loop between themselves and others who already know most of what’s being told? The writer takes for granted that the reader knows which parties are left or right wing, and which parties each politician belongs to. The ability of a journalist should be to give context to what he’s reporting without wasting too much space on the page.

The real question I’m asking is, “What could there be in a newspaper that would make me want to read it?”.

All superficial information is easily obtainable online, there’s no need to buy a large, unergonomic sheet of paper to get the fundamentals of the latest “news”, intended literally as the newest events, from local happenings to national politics. But then what sticks to me, in a world where we are constantly bombarded with new info on our phones and computers? A few important things emerge from discussions between my friends and me: i’d love to see specific and in depth articles. in the rare cases where we discuss articles we actually read, they’re usually “long writing” pieces.

I say this because the type of media I use the most are “video essays” on youtube. They’re trending because they’re long enough to go in depth on any particular subject, without being as long as a documentary; “long writing” articles can compare the same way to books. Better still, in my opinion, when the articles aren’t written by journalists but by experts, who know the subject perfectly.

Most articles aren’t like that. When i do pick up the paper I’m drawn to the in-depth ones. There are certain, irrational aspects of reading a newspaper that can’t be overlooked: I can’t deny the feeling i got when i picked up that newspaper, left on the streetcar by a stranger. I felt so much like a man from back in the day, a typical father going to work and keeping himself up to date. It's fascinating for the youth; we’re the ones who made vinyl come back in style, not the people who grew up with it.

At the end of the day though, loading a website is quicker and cheaper than buying a newspaper, so instead of trying to beat the competitor in quantity of headlines, I hope that in the future newspapers will aim to give readers an experience we can’t find online, as foreign press is already doing.

 

18 year old Ricky Basilone is the son of our very own Irene Zerbini (host of Spunti di Vista on Radio24). He lives in Milan but moves between Italy and Weston, the Toronto neighborhood where he was born and raised and to which he dedicated his stage name, Rick Weston. He is currently enrolled in the last year of high school (specializing in classical studies). He is also a musician. He has played and sung with many bands and with the Orchestra dei Popoli. You can find him playing his guitar on the streets of Milan for the delight of thousands of pigeons and a few passersby. He loves maple syrup. And this is his first Italian video on his youtube channel.


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