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Papers are history in many ways

March 07, 2009

Regarding David Sarno's "Online/On Paper Debate" [March 4], while I agree that many of today's readers are more interested in receiving their news through the Internet than via newsprint, I have some real concerns about doing away with paper periodicals altogether.

In particular, I worry about the demise of newspapers as historical artifacts. Sure, we can currently look up old copies of the L.A. Times on ProQuest, but how long will that last in an electronic environment that's so volatile?

I'm far more concerned that whole swaths of history can be eliminated with the simple touch of a delete key than I am about the millions of trees destroyed every year to create newspapers. If publishers do away with newsprint, then they better figure out a way to permanently preserve the historical record of our daily lives.

Cindy Mediavilla

Culver City


Sarno quotes the Green Press Initiative's estimate that the newsprint industry consumed 95 million trees in 2006 as if newspapers are not green and therefore should be relegated to the dustbin of history. Trees for paper production are a crop, like corn or lettuce or rutabagas; as such, they provide oxygen and consume carbon dioxide. Also, people are employed.

On the other hand, sometimes trees fall down, killing random creatures who might be in their path.

Fred Dickinson


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