Sunday, June 03, 2012

Paper

The Birmingham News announced this week that it would start printing papers only three days a week beginning this fall. The News is the largest daily newspaper in Alabama and I was saddened to read thos words.
They will offer online content daily, but it will not be the same. The news release said they were "excited about the new direction." I'm sorry, but I don't share in their enthusiasm.
I've spoken with some of my friends that work at the News, and their futures are in limbo. 
Maybe I'm wrong, but I think a lot of businesses, including newspapers, have lost focus.
People today, still want news, but they get a great deal of their world and national news in real time on their iPads and phones. 
I think what local newspapers should provide, is "local" news that I can't find anywhere else. I want well-told stories about local people. I want local sports, and entertainment. I want to know what's going on around me.
I work for a small firm that does monthly news for select communities. The paper is full of news, sports, and entertainment for "that" community. The pictures are big, and the stories are about what's important to the community. The paper is thriving.
Warren Buffett who hasn't become one of the richest men on the planet by throwing money away, is buying newspapers left and right.
He is preaching exactly what I'm saying. Provide hyper-local content that is engaging and compelling. 
I hope Warren buys the Birmingham News and tosses out the bunch that made the bone-headed decision to go digital, because there is still a lot of us who still love the smell and feel of paper.


7 comments:

  1. Do you think they're actually excited - or that they're obliged to say that for reasons of publicity?

    It really is unfortunate that some of these older institutions are finding it so hard to keep going. There will be no character left in life if the whole world goes digital.

    I'm with you on hoping that someone might intervene and keep that paper alive!

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  2. Our local paper comes out once a fortnight! And it used to be free! It's quite sad really! I hope this guy does buy up your paper and invests in it properly! take care
    x

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  3. I would be so sad if our paper stopped. It has been a ritual of mine since I was 17 to read an actual paper, our paper. Our oldest girl has never picked up a paper, but chooses to read her news on the Internet that I think can leave a lot out. There is nothing like a local paper.

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  4. One of the pleasures in life is pouring a cup of coffee first thing in the morning and setting down with the morning paper to find out what's going on around us. I can't picture replacing that with an electronic device. It just does not compute.

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  5. It is too bad about newspapers, although I do like the idea of saving forests. I do read my news online, even the local news where we have a local paper with columnists from our city etc. I guess I am just used to it so I enjoy it. But I do feel awful about all the jobs lost. I mean, I doubt those who write online are paid the same as a reporter.

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  6. I completely agree. Local papers could really focus more on their area and the people. My town people are the ones who really interest me.

    Thanks for the book! It arrived in the mail today. I look forward to reading it!

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  7. The first thing I do at work is grab the paper quickly and scan the obits...(making sure my name's not there I guess!)...check the rest because it's mostly local stuff and I don't want to miss anything..and then I can head to the operating room well informed! I would imagine money does play a part in these sad decisions and maybe the ads aren't coming in to help pay the bills, but I too would miss the feel of that "folded the wrong way again"..paper each morning.

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