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06/12/2012

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Gilda Blackmore

You made me cry! I recently responded to an Ipsos Reid poll in which it was obvious the Toronto Globe&Mail is trying to discover how many print subscribers would be willing to switch to online subscriptions. Dear god! Ugh!

Mike Peterson

Actually, I prefer the true on-line subscription -- that is, the "eEdition" that gives you a replica copy of the physical paper, so you can leaf through, reading articles and seeing ads and basically having the same visual experience as the paper edition. I had that for a couple of years in Glens Falls and it meant I wasn't reliant on a carrier to deliver a dry paper on schedule, and I had nothing to throw away when I was done.

Corporate made us discontinue the practice after a few years and just put everything up on line free in the familiar clickable-link style. We rather suspected it was because they wanted to aggregate the largest possible audience for the banner ads that never came up to the level of the print ads which were being successfully delivered via eEdition.

So, once again, HQ looked at something that worked and says, "No, no ... we don't want that."

They say that a lot at Corporate. But it's easier to blame the Internets than to blame the Idiots.

Dann

We recently had to close our VFW post. I am/was the finance officer. One of the bitter pills from that experience is in reflecting on our relationship with the local paper.

Back in 1975, the local paper ran lengthy stories about the election of officers in the VFW. They did it for other social service organizations as well. They haven't done that for a long time.

Over the last decade or so, I helped run our local student essay competitions. Winners proceed incrementally up to the national level where there is some serious college money to be won.

Every time I asked for some coverage, we got 1-2" aggregated with other minor news.

Yet at the same time, we would get huge coverage whenever we encountered difficulties. (i.e. having to sell our building and hold meetings elsewhere, losing membership and closing the organization)

Somewhere along the line, the local paper decided that they didn't want to be "local". I think that trend is a contributing factor to a lot of what is going on these days.

Mike Peterson

Old time publishers would (A) hold the newsroom's feet to the fire and make sure they knew the mission and (B) hire an editor who understood the mission and then keep that editor happy and in place. Today, the publisher is an interchangeable part who is swapped out every five years by Corporate HQ, and the editors think they're supposed to uncover corruption (which they are), not run pictures of Cub Scout award banquets (which they also are.) They really don't understand that, if the community knows, trusts and likes you, you have much more impact when you do have to regretfully cover that corruption.

And, oh yeah, you sell a lot more papers. duh.

Mark Jackson

This seems relevant:

http://www.gocomics.com/cleats/2012/06/14

(Hey, as the newspapers close those management teams have to go to work *somewhere*.)

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