Endangered species


The lingering death of the daily newspaper industry is taking with it an institution which has added texture to New York City's streets, along with a handful of other crowded American cities: the news stand. The New York Sun reports on the endangered species status of the news stands there. The addition of lottery tickets, cold beverages, and other diversifications of product lines, allowed by a city anxious to preserve them, has not helped the news stands avert a radical decline in their numbers.

The newsboy, hawking papers which calling out headlines, or even "Extra, extra, read all about it," long ago vanished from America's scene. The last time I saw an extra edition of a newspaper being hawked on the street was in Tokyo, in the 1970s, following an airliner crash.

There is much to sentimentalize about the decline of this historic industry. A lot of people missed horse—drawn carriages, too. But manure—free streets, and instantaneous news via the internet are both improvements to be celebrated.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Thomas Lifson   6 7 05