In the wee, dark hours of the morning they work — usually alone, often unseen, often unheard.
The traditional daily is delivered by newspaper carriers.
Sometimes, they encounter peril on their route and, sometimes, they do more than just deliver the news. A Poynter article by Andrew Beaujon, “The year in newspaper carriers,” offers an entertaining and enlightening sample of delivery stories from 2014. Here’s one:
“September: Don Hardin, 80, a carrier for the Valley News Dispatch, alerted a family that ‘their SUV was burning furiously and threatening their house.’ ‘People need to get their paper delivered,’ rescuee Angela Worthing told Chuck Biedka. ‘Reading it online wouldn’t have saved us.’ (Valley News Dispatch/TribLive)”
The carriers’ role was brought to mind by a full-page ad I unearthed from our attic archives the other day.
“There are nearly 2,000 boys and girls, men and women, who deliver the Portland Press Herald, Evening Express and Maine Sunday Telegram,” the ad says.
Designed to commemorate International Carrier Day, the ad includes a quote from each newsroom executive. My husband’s says this:
“I got my paper route when I was 11 and kept it for three years. It earned me my first bank account, paid for my first new bicycle and paid for the first real Christmas present I gave to my mother.
“Paper routes teach discipline, responsibility, teamwork and entrepreneurship. It’s a great way to instill important values in young people and let them gather the rewards of their own labor at the same time.” —Jon Kellogg, Managing Editor—Reporting
Carrier jobs provide a part-time gig for youngsters, retirees and anyone in between. They are the contact between the newspaper and its customers each day. And, as Beaujon says, they are “America’s least-acknowledged first responders.”
Amazon can have its drones. We’ve got carriers.