Thursday, August 07, 2008
Confusion in the paper about—the paper
by Larry Geller
This is one of those “unclear on the concept” rants.
So I was reading the paper this morning. I noticed that the Advertiser has shoehorned three blogs into the Classified section. Well, if there can be Superferry news on the obit page, why not blogs at the top of the Classifieds.
The placement may be very telling. Maybe they’re saying, with classified ad revenue falling off sharply, we’re counting on the web to save us. Bloggers come cheaper than reporters.
So I scanned Catherine Toth’s The Daily Dish, which is about China. She’d like to visit, and is telling us why:
China, so shrouded in its mysterious history, is something of an enigma for Americans. It’s not a culture most of us aren’t familiar with, a language so foreign and complex it’s daunting. It boasts a long and rich history. It stretches across about 3.7 million square miles. And it’s home to about 1.3 billion people.
It can’t help but be fascinating!
Here are some other interesting facts about China and its role in the upcoming Summer Games:
Hey, great article! It was just getting interesting. Where’s the rest of it? On the web.
(Story continues, view posts and add your comments at dailydish.honadvblogs.com)
I would have loved to read the rest, it did sound fascinating! Especially with the exclamation point. It’s because of that exclamation point, in fact, that I feel cheated. What about those readers who don’t own or use computers? Some of them must be hopping mad. Maybe a few, at least.
If you’re a successful and respected daily newspaper, why give it up and drive readers to the web?
Tomorrow is layoff day. There’s a hint in the other paper’s coverage of the situation that maybe all 54 planned cuts won’t take place. I have a different theory. I think they could be willing to sacrifice the whole bunch.
The print paper is getting disrespected. That’s bad news. Actually you can’t dis a paper, it’s their readers who are being disrespected.
This is a time that the Advertiser should be working hard to convince its remaining readers that they should continue to subscribe, that they are valued.
Instead, they give us three half-articles as a cheap come-on to visit the web. Why not skip reading the paper at all. Readus interruptus is no fun.
And no local political cartoon? While Corky usually does two cartoons a day for the Star-Bulletin, the Advertiser is about to let go award-winning Dick Adair.
I’m of the generation that likes to read an actual newspaper. I also believe that print journalism is essential to the health of our democracy, such as it is. We need reporters, and we need even more of them, not fewer.
Maybe if the stock price goes low enough, Gannett might be a takeover target. Is there anyone out there who wants to buy a great metropolitan daily before it is driven into the ground altogether?
You're right, Larry, that is very strange to give your newspaper subscribers partial stories, even if they are blogs, that have to be finished on the web. I would be irked, and I imagine other readers would be, too. Wonder who came up with that idea?
They do all they can to cheat and dis readers and then they blame everyone but themselves for the demise of print newspapers.