#3876 Created 04/01/2017 Updated 08/06/2017
These thoughts were provoked by a comment someone attributed to Tony (a very professional newspaper reporter of local renown) that a 'replacement' for a declining local print newspaper would still require journalism done by Journalists, with a capital "J", because the process of skilled journalism is indispensable to the creation of credible, non-libelous, factual and fairly presented "news."
He instinctively knows that to be the best way, being a trained journalist, and wary of the dangers -- and damage -- that careless journalism can cause. And carelessness is best combated by rigorous journalistic procedure.
While we need that journalism, we can't apply it in the same way as before, as the economics underlying that concept of journalism have been eroding. Witness the absence, in Longmont, of any office filled with journalists covering the local news.
While the Ghost of the past is still here, still wearing the Times-Call's proud banner, the heart and soul have been ripped out by the economics of modern newspapers. The bulk of the news that the paper carries is, mostly, the stuff that generates itself: weather and sports, meeting reports, a tiny-handed handful of local columns, and whatever was handy to steal from the Camera.
And the "furniture": the comics, horoscope, Jumble, Ann Landers (or whoever), crossword puzzle, weather chart, and two right-wing columns.
A ghost ship, with traffic complaints and snide remarks about the shopping center and airplane noise.
Oh, did I mention the inserts? Seven days a week, a wad of inserts bigger than the paper itself, stuffed full of hot deals from chain retailers. There are more inserts in the newspaper than there are display ads, on many days.
Peer through the fog, and see the real values here.
The newspaper's distribution business, which rises and falls with the number of subscribers, is based on 1.) newspaper subscription revenue, and 2.) insert revenue. The success of #2 depends entirely in the success of #1. And the success of #1 depends entirely on the quality -- and size -- of the paper.
Is the Times-Call still alive because of the insert business? Yes. Without inserts, the market would be to small to support a press run (let alone a building).
Is there an insert business without the newspaper? No. It's worth keeping the paper alive just for the inserts business, but it's not worth good journalism.
So, what jumps out at you, here? Hmmmmm?
The insert business is booming. That means people are looking through those inserts.
To me, that sounds like a socko place to put good journalism.