April 7 – International Snailpapers Day

Posted on April 7, 2015

What are snailpapers?

I'm pretty sure you are picturing some sort of sticky papers you put out around your strawberry plants, to protect the fruit YOU want to eat from snails...right?

But “snailpapers” are just newspapers – a way of getting news the old fashioned way.

The sllllloooooowww way. People get their news from newspapers around 12 hours late, according to the former newspaperman and current blogger who created this special day.

Hence, snailpapers. (Just like the phrase “snail mail.”)

News gets to us faster through radio, television, twitter, phone alerts, and the internet than it possibly could through newspapers. Journalists have to phone or otherwise wire in their stories to the newspaper, and then the paper has to edit the story, set the type, print and assemble the newspaper, and then distribute it (a step that, in fact, usually entails multiple steps before the newspaper is in the hands of the reader).

Whereas with the phone alert, twitter, and internet, that first step - someone phoning/wiring the story – can be the ONLY step!

So...why would anybody choose slow?

First, there are not really easy ways to find out some categories of local news, in some communities, other than the local paper. If you want to get up on Saturday morning, for example, and check the scores of the Friday-night football games from all three of your town's high schools, the local paper is often the best bet.

And if you want more than the box scores of local sporting events – articles describing the high points of the game, photos – again, the town newspaper might be the easiest source.

Second, some people love the tactile experience of paging through a newspaper over breakfast and coffee or tea.

Third, some sorts of news stories don't have to be reported in a split-second fashion. They might be carefully investigated reports that were fact checked by two people other than the writers; after journalists create such a story over the course of days, weeks, or even months, putting them out in newspapers or magazines is as valid as putting them out on the internet.

But, of course, if newspapers and magazines cannot afford to continue as printed-paper artifacts, because of plummeting subscriptions and drastically reduced advertising, then their online forms will eventually be the only forms.

For now, today, there still ARE printed newspapers – so go out and buy one in order to celebrate Snailpapers Day!

  • Find out the high-tech way that newspapers are printed these days by watching this video

  • See if your family has saved any old newspaper clippings. Maybe one of your parents has a scrapbook of his or her childhood competitions...or someone has save big-time headlines such as the attack on Pearl Harbor or 9-11.
  • Find out how you can access old newspaper articles here. They might come in handy while doing research on a historical event or on your own family tree. Or you can just browse around and compare different newspaper's coverage of important events. 

Also on this date:

International Beaver Day

Motherhood and Beauty Day in Armenia

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