Thursday, September 12, 2019

End of Express

On Wednesday, "The Washington Post" announced that the final publication of its free, daily newspaper, "The Washington Post Express," would be today. Basically, the paper gave the 20 employees at Express and the 75 people who hand papers out at Metro stations throughout the DC area 24 hours notice that they were losing their jobs. This really sucks for them.

The paper started in 2003, and it has been part of my morning commute since I began taking Metro to work in 2005. I’ve made fun of Express over the years and even created an “Express Fail” series, but I always read it. The paper was (I hate writing this is past tense) a good way to catch the headlines of the day. It introduced me to "Pearls Before Swine" and Sudoku and let me know of area events along with articles on sports, television, music, and movies. Plus, the people handing out Express at the Metro stations were almost always friendly. There’s one guy in particular who has distributed newspapers at my station for years, and it’s nice to see him each day. It gives you some comfort and consistency seeing a familiar, welcoming face each day. Today, people were taking pictures with him. I simply thanked him for being outside handing out papers all these years and wished him good luck. He thanked me and shook my hand.

Back to Express, I was honored to have my blog listed several times in its Blog Log feature. This was one such time. It was really exciting, and I have physical copies of them in my home. (Though I’m not exactly sure where. When I find them, it will be a Found in my Basement post.)

The Washington Post seems to blame Metro ridership for Express going out of business. Not the number of riders (which would make some sense), but the habits of riders constantly looking at their phones and not picking up the paper. I'm not sure that I completely buy this rationale and feel like it has to be more of an economic decision.

I guess that I’ll use my commuting time reading books more and catching up on The Washington Post Magazine. It would be great if something similar took its place (or The Post changed its mind) though giving away free newspapers may not be a good business model in 2019. Plus, what's going to happen to all of these yellow boxes throughout the area?

I’m definitely going to miss Express.

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