How's your local newspaper doing?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by micpoc, May 6, 2019.

  1. micpoc

    micpoc Friend of Leo's

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    We just had a seismic shift in my city with the purchase/merger of one of the "local" papers (actually owned out-of-state) by the other paper (locally-owned). A lot of people are happy - and probably just as many are aggravated - but, in 2019, I am still amazed we even had ONE, let alone two. Plenty of dust has yet to settle (an entire staff of nearly 200 have been laid off, for starters), but it makes me wonder if the "death of the local newspaper" is more fiction than fact.

    How's about in your neck of the woods?
     
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  2. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire

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    We have four, but two are “national”. And one alterna weekly that is a shadow of its former self.

    So, still fairly healthy, but the serious news stuff is mostly behind paywalls on the web now, and that is fairly recent for one of the papers, so I don’t see as much of it as I used to.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  3. DrPepper

    DrPepper Tele-Afflicted

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    Local paper printed elsewhere, not long for this world.
     
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  4. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    It's getting thinner and thinner and less relevant each day. Milwaukee had two bid daily papers years ago and they condensed into one which gets thinner and thinner.

    I believe that 80% of the subscribers are senior citizens who subscribe to read the daily obituaries. My mom is 86 and she gets the daily paper only to read the obituaries. She admits this and laughs about it freely.

    News on TV, Radio, Facebook and the internet are plenty for me. Classified ads = craigslist. My Explorer homepage is CNN
     
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  5. sardinista

    sardinista TDPRI Member

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    No idea. I'm not even sure there is one in my locale. Even if there were, and even if I didn't _hate_ newsprint (I do), I doubt I would read it. Not enough interest in local affairs for it to be an encumbrance upon my time.
     
  6. don71

    don71 Tele-Afflicted

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    We still have one. As said earlier, its a little skinny now a days but it still contains some relevant local info. Its down to publishing six days a week from seven.

    I used to enjoy the comics the most but sadly its the obits an police reports I turn to first. I don't follow sports that much, so that is a whole section or 50% I don't read.
     
  7. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    When I was a kid, we had two...the "Times" and the "News". The "Times" was the big dog on the block. The "News" was pretty much just local news.

    The "News" died probably 30 or more years ago. Few cared. The "Times" moved to remote printing (Birmingham) and online access about 10+ yrs ago. The instant they dropped their daily comics page, I dropped them. Now I understand they're on a "three-day-a-week" schedule. I don't think anyone in my neighborhood subscribes...at least I haven't seen a paper in a driveway in 10 yrs.

    The old "Times" building, presses, etc. was torn down a year or so ago. New building going up on the property...looks like a shopping center of some sort.
     
  8. beach bob

    beach bob Friend of Leo's

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    I still get the daily paper, the Palm Beach Post. At ~$70/mo, it's not really the bargain it used to be (but what is?). It's a shadow of its former glory. Previously it used to operate in the range of just not quite as good as the St. Petersburg Times (which is no longer quite what it was, and has been renamed Tampa Bay Times in a restructuring... but that's a whole story of its own). Now it's just another local paper, thin and readable in about a half hour most days. About ten years ago the PBPost regrouped (or something)... anyways, a mess of columnists and features writers took early retirement. So the human interest side of the paper nosedived, save for two columnists; they are both worthy and I'm glad they're still a part of the operation. Somehow they still manage to do great investigative reporting on local politics.

    We still have it delivered because 1) my wife likes her crosswords and is very low tech (I could have saved $$thousands$$ by buying her a Kindle with an infinite amount of crosswords for her to do, but that's too tech-y for her)... and 2) I like to read the paper with my morning breakfast flakes and coffee. I could live without it, and just read the news on my phone. But momma likes her crosswords. <shrug>

    It's weird down here. There's the Miami Herald, which is still a pretty good paper (last I looked). Carl Hiaasen still files columns for them, so there's that. And there's the Sun-Sentinel, based in Ft. Lauderdale. And my paper. If you read each of these, it's evident that they each publish as if the other two towns do not exist. It's only 70 miles from where I live, to downtown Miami... but it might as well be another state. I keep wondering when one of the three papers will fold...
     
  9. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I get all the local news I need to know online:

     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  10. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    A skinny little rag... it's all that's left.

    They have something on-line to take it's place.

    Crappy.

    The newspaper has always been the watchdog...

    We're in trouble, my friends'.
     
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  11. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I had an epiphany today.

    I was erroneously thinking we'd become a somewhat literate country, by virtue of all the use of phones and the Internet and the whole bag. But this is wrong. People can do things like read menus, and type in chit chat on Facebook, but they simply cannot read books with sophisticated concepts in them. They attempt to rely on someone else, much as my clients so often just let me read the documents and explain to them what they meant.

    I can't believe I got off track so badly. I knew very well in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s just how limited supposedly successful people were. Somehow my hopes levitated, and now I am thinking we're less capable than we were before. This is a truly desperate situation.

    +

    I saw this guy in a black Mercedes tailgating first one person, then another, on US 72, and his eyes never came off that phone. But that, I suddenly realize, doesn't mean that Mercedes guy could read a biography about Lincoln or something and actually glean anything from it. Familiarity with letters of the alphabet and short, easy to understand terms is not even close to enough. To actually matter.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
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  12. Random1643

    Random1643 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I live in a little "twin city" micro area with an urban population of about 21,000, maybe another 3,000 in the immediate ex-urbs. During the time we've lived here, about 6 years, there's been 1 newspaper with 2 different owners. The first paper was part of a small northwoods chain of news outlets; pathetic hard copy and online output. After acoupla years they got bought out by a larger regional chain that I was hopeful would turn it into something useful. Didn't happen. Now online it's just another piece o' cr*p cluster of different proprietary software platforms featuring weather, news, jobs, whatever. Incredibly poorly organized and hard to search or use. Local news is often a regurgitation of something provided by a business or non-profit. The print version looks a little more coherent but is essentially just the paper variant of the online cluster. It's apparently a Copy & Paste World.

    EDIT: I grill with charcoal and use a chimney starter to get things going. This where the local paper really comes in handy.
     
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  13. Wrighty

    Wrighty Tele-Afflicted

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    We had a local ‘paper, revived about five years ago, about ten years after the original, launched back in the 50’s when this new town began, had disappeared. It was a weekly but, the publication at the beginning of April had ‘Goodbye’ writ big on the front and a message saying it was the last edition.
     
  14. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Some of these are basically vehicles for print ads from the local groceries and fast food enterprises. The editorial content is generally best described as "conscripted" or captive to the ideology of someone you have never met and probably never will meet in your town.
     
  15. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Holic

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    Ours recently sold off a smaller community paper & cut printing an actual product to 3 days/wk.
     
  16. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Our only local paper shrank, changed basic orientation, and abandoned it’s humor writers.
    I once loved it, and subscribed to it.
    Now I never consult it, in it’s original or on-line form.
    Austin has completely and utterly ceased to be the comfortable and livable place it once was.
    Inevitable, but sad, IMO.
     
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  17. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    The only thing our local paper is good for is wrapping fish and lining bird cages.

    EDIT: Okay...I'll grudginly concede that my statement could be construed as naming two things...:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  18. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Poster Extraordinaire

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  19. teletimetx

    teletimetx Poster Extraordinaire

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    wow.

    Just sad, to me, to see such a brutal decline in the fourth estate.

    Growing up, I read three newspapers, daily. One morning paper, two evening papers. I had a paper route with my brother, for years, slinging the local paper onto porches from a bike.

    Two people very close to me have ink in their veins. My wife (no longer in the trade) and daughter, investigative reporter. Both are excellent, excellent writers. Yeah, my opinion is not entirely objective, but a large part of my life has involved reading, so it's not an inexperienced opinion, either. Employment opportunities have been decimated, and to their own detriment, papers rely more and more on content generated from single viewpoint sources.

    The Times-Picayune was (IMO) the best paper in the Gulf Coast, for a long time. And now, poof, gone overnight.

    There was a time, before the rise of the 24/7-click-bait reporting of today, when news was reported relatively accurately and balanced and was somewhat reliable. Exceptions, sure, but journalists were actually trained, had ethics, editors of several persuasions and fact-checkers and balances and so forth. Some still do, but the platforms for that kind of reporting are disappearing.

    And one consequence could well be the hyper-polarized, power grabbing politics that have infected our world. IMO.

    The Houston Chronicle is still alive, but probably just. barely. It's disappearance, though sad, is not the tragedy of losing the Times-Picayune, again, IMO, and for what I remember, when I lived in that part of the world.
     
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  20. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    "The newspaper HAD always been the watchdog....."....there, fixed it for 'ya.
    The pathetic excuse of a newspaper left in Ft Worth is no longer a "watchdog", but a "shill" for vested interests.
    Newspapers ARE dying a long, slow, lingering death.....but make no mistake, they ARE dying! :(
     
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