Created by Ruth Elliott

Welcome! Join me as I reflect on my learning journey with Web 2.0 tools. I'm sure I will find bandwagons to jump on along the way. Let's enjoy the trip.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Newspaper Rant

What's black and white and read all over? If some people have their way, it won't be the newspaper. Why? Tell me, why? Just because I love my Twitter and the blog posts that come to my Google Reader, does this mean I should ditch (or diss) my newspaper?

So many people I meet online see everything in black and white (yes that's another newspaper joke). They love their breaking news (and yes, I found it rather shocking that after hearing about Ted Kennedy's passing on Twitter, I didn't read about it in the paper for 1 1/2 days) a

2:21Image by tcp909 via Flickr

nd their tidbits of juicy information (Kanye West anyone?). But why does it have to be either social media or the newspaper? Can't we have both?

Here's a few reasons I will continue to read my local newspaper--the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix--each day.

1) I believe in buying locally. I want to keep my city vibrant and growing. I believe that supporting my local newspaper is part of my plan to consume locally. I like the local coverage in my newspaper. It also covers national and international stories that I can find elsewhere. I think that local newspapers need to go even more in-depth with those local stories in order to attract readers.

2) I am a tactile person. I like the feel of the newspaper. I also like the idea that my newspaper boy (or girl) has trekked around the neighbourhood early in the morning (making some ca$h) to deliver my paper. My husband sits and reads the paper along with his breakfast cereal. I read it later and do the Suduko (in pen, I'm proud to say. If I mess up, I

Reading the newspaper: Brookgreen Gardens in P...Image via Wikipedia

give up for that day). A little later my son (17 years old) reads the paper from front to back. I even like the feel of the papers as I recycle them using Saskatoon's Curbside Recycling service.

3) Currently I have three main sources for news in my life:

1. I use Twitter for the latest stories. However, how much detail can be given in 140 characters? I do click on links sometimes to read more. Twitter is like the headlines or the captions for the news.

2. I read the local newspaper six days each week. This gives me more detail on the news I have seen in short form on Twitter. I follow local stories this way.

Maclean'sImage via Wikipedia

3. I read the Maclean's magazine (similar to Times or Newsweek for those in the United States). This weekly magazine provides more in-depth commentary and information on some of the national and international stories in the world. For example, it just had a cover story on the Kennedy family.

Bottom line for me is that I love my newspaper. Please, don't let it die. Tell your local newspaper folk how they can better meet your needs and serve you. Help them to find their niche in this evolving world of instant, viral news stories.

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  1. I whole heartedly agree with your comments. And this is coming from someone who works in the newspaper industry. I work at the Outlook newspaper, a small weekly publication. One thing I've learned is you can get your breaking news (such as the aforementioned Kanye West) from any entertainment site on the web, but if I want to read about the Skytrail Bridge or how the Outlook Ice Hawks are doing in the Sask Valley Hockey League, I have to turn to the local newspaper.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Tim.

    As a local newspaper guy, what do you think local newspapers need to do in order to maintain and even grow market share?

    I think there can be a synergy of news flowing back and forth from the local community. I would love to see even more local news in my paper.

  3. I agree, there has to be that flow. I think newspapers also have to embrace the medium of the Internet as well, because there is a great deal of potential there. The Star Phoenix already does that with reporter blogs and even media galleries of photos and videos. It's a bit more difficult for weekly newspapers due to staffing and cost (we can't turn around and out source the information to a web host as easily as we'd like).
    Many weeklies have a central source that all finished pages are uploaded to, that dailies can look through to see if there's a topic which might be of interest to larger audiences. For example, we might report on something in The Outlook that the Star Phoenix or the Leader-Post (or even the Globe and Mail) might find interesting. It was very similar to when I worked in broadcasting.
    But I think there has to be a friendly union of some sort between newspapers and the Internet. One cannot live without the other. Besides, I still see a large number of people reading the newspaper today.