Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

US Newspapers in Jamaica

It's true -- the internet has made the world a much smaller place.

Just about any major newspaper can be read via the internet from Kingston, Negril or Port Antonio. Living in Jamaica does not mean living out of touch with the world.

It had convinced myself that I had the internet, and didn't need any newspapers whatsoever, including the Jamaica Gleaner or Observer.

That is, until we had the first paper delivered, and I realized that not all of the content from the online newspapers could be captured on the internet.

Then, I was delivered a complimentary copy of the Sunday Washington Post by PaperBoyJa, a local company that delivers overseas papers of all kinds.

After spending at least an hour devouring the latest news, reading the columns, reveling in the quality of the writing, enjoying how bloody smart the writers were, and witty to boot... I realized that there was nothing like receiving a printed paper at home on a Sunday morning. Even reading the classifieds was an eye-opener, as the number of houses for sale was pretty striking.

I felt as if I were joining in a much bigger world as I was reading it, as I had gotten quite used to the local newspapers with their lack of investigative journalism, typos and other indicators of generally lower standards. (This, speaking as someone who writes now and then for the Gleaner.)

Last October, I mentioned that the service existed, but now I can report that actually receiving the paper at home was simply a fabulous experience. I didn't feel like I was living in the U.S., but I did feel as if I were participating in the larger world, which is a feeling I have never gotten from reading the same papers on the internet.

I mentioned in my prior report that the service was not cheap. What that means is that a single Sunday newspaper (delivered) costs US$7. A weekday/Saturday paper costs less, and most others a bit cheaper US$4-$6 on a Sunday, and US$3.50-$5 on a week day. (I made an error in a prior blog.)

According to the PaperBoyJa site, there are :

Newspapers available from:
Argentina Australia Austria Belgium Brazil Bulgaria Canada Chile China Colombia Czech Republic Denmark Ecuador Egypt El Salvador France Germany Greece Guatemala Iceland India Indonesia Ireland Israel Italy Japan Jordan Korea (South) Kuwait Lebanon Malaysia Mexico Netherlands New Zealand Norway Oman Pakistan Panama Peru Philippines Poland Portugal Russia Saudi Arabia Scotland South Africa Spain Sweden Switzerland Trinidad Turkey UAE UK Ukraine Uruguay USA

Each of them is printed on demand, in a different format from the original newspaper, but all the information.

It just might become a monthly treat for my wife and I, perhaps on the days when I would really enjoy an international paper (like a Sunday after an Obama win!)

One of the big concerns that anyone coming to live in Jamaica should have is somehow losing touch with the wider world, or with their hometown if they are an expat. This is one way to ensure that at least a single, clear line of communication is maintained.



At 3/29/2008 5:27 PM, Anonymous ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID said...

Extremely expensive,but nonetheless a great service if one really needs to have a real copy of their hometown newspaper.Interestingly,libraries should be instrumental in terms of such a service.RESPECT!!

At 3/30/2008 9:45 AM, Blogger Living in Barbados said...

Whatever the cost it can be very satisfying especially if you have grown up with them (The UK Times and Washington Post, for example). The local writing is lamentable and even more limited in Barbados, where there is little in-depth reporting, and the online versions of the papers are so poor as to be laughable.


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