The romance of print as a historical memento

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 28 September 2009

I can usually be found on here trumpeting the superiority of all things digital over all things old and analogue, but sometimes there are sentimental things where new media frankly just doesn't cut it.

Last week, when my daughter was born, I thought I'd buy a copy of a newspaper to keep for her as a memento of her birthday. Not only might there still be interest in some of the stories that were being reported that day - she'll be over 40 when the carbon emission measures in the main story come into effect - but there is also the fact that when she was born, her dad was working for The Guardian.

The Guardian front page on 22nd September 2009

Of course, I could have printed out some of the pages of the website where I've actually had some impact, but somehow, that just doesn't seem as tangible a historical keepsake for the future...


I still have the newspaper my grandfather bought me for me the day I was born, I'm sure your daughter will like having it :)

Congratulations on the birth of your daughter!

Of course, when she's old enough to understand and appreciate this she'll probably ask "Daddy, what's a news paper? Isn't that an old fashioned environmentally damaging version of the e-papers?"

I did the same thing for my daughter born 5 weeks ago - I think it's a great memento for the future.

That's because it simply isn't. It isn't and you are lucky to be able to somehow overcome nostalgia, and "be found trumpeting about the superiority of all things digital". I'm 21, I've just finished Uni, in Journalism, in Portugal and I can't feel anything but hate for the media. ahaha OK, of course I'm kidding but paper is just..something else. And you see tv's keep quoting papers and find their stories and people trust a cover 10 000 times more than they trust a blog entrance and that's just so right.

Congrats on the birth of your daughter! I am not lucky enough to have had the newspaper from my birthday saved :( However I have looked it up at the local library and nothing overly interesting happened that day anyway... I am sure your daughter will appreciate it! :)

My folks saved the front page of their local paper the day I was born. I think it's neat. I wish I had thought to do it as I've had my two daughters.
And congrats on the new baby!

My son was born in Spain two years ago, I bought "El Pais" and the "Sun" - no only joking - it was "The Daily Mail" , I'm ashamed to say as it was the only paper that was being sold at the kiosk here. Working within the digital industry myself, I think Richy C's comment are spot on!

I love the fact the technological determinists seem to think that what's digital is green and not "environmentally damaging." Have you taken a look at the factories where computers and other gadgets, including Kindles, are made, and their environmental impact? How much carbon emissions produced by the "digital media revolution" pundits who make a living from giving talks and courses around the world? Let alone other environmental impacts of digital technology?

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