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Newspapers are a business, not a library

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by flexmaster33, Sep 1, 2018.

  1. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    Sorry, just a quick rant.
    I get so tired of requests to accommodate people who want to treat our business like one of those free library boxes you find in neighborhoods.

    My son was quoted in Saturday's paper, can you send me a copy?
    Where can I see that story online?
    My daughter was pictured in Tuesday's paper, can you email me that photo?

    If people don't support the paper, do they really expect that our websites are going to still be running?
    When people walk into a grocery store, do they say 'Oh those Cheerios look good, can I have a box for free?'

    Part of this falls on newspapers, too. We need to be better about valuing and selling our product.
  2. Raven

    Raven Active Member

    The best we can do is keep telling people it's not a library.

    Want a picture of your daughter? Buy it.
    Want a copy of today's paper? Buy it.
    Want to read the story online? Look for it.
    flexmaster33 likes this.
  3. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    And if they do find it online, they'll bitch because it's behind a paywall.
    Tweener likes this.
  4. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    "Yeah, you had an article about Joey Quarterback throwing for 320 yards for Podunk High. Can you send me the article?"

    "Do you remember the date he threw for that?

    "No, I thought you would know. It happened twelve or thirteen years ago."
  5. Central-KY-Kid

    Central-KY-Kid Well-Known Member

    Except very few articles are truly behind a paywall.

    If you know the web address or word for word headline, you can often copy and paste into google.

    Once results pop up, click on the little arrow to the right of the link and select cache. Instantly read for free without logging in.

    Really no way for papers and sites to get around this, unless they want to be invisible to google searches (killing web hits and ad rates).

    I honestly don't know the last time I logged in to any newspaper site for a story I wanted to read that I couldn't pull up an alternate way for free.
  6. Tweener

    Tweener Active Member

    This is all true, though I still subscribe to three newspapers digitally because I read their work and feel that I should support it. That's the entire point of this thread; people enjoying the work of journalists but still looking for a way to get it without compensating the folks producing it.

    Our society has this backwards. Instead of going through life trying to not pay for anything, which so many of us do, we should be actively supporting the institutions that provide for us a service that we don't want to disappear.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
    FileNotFound likes this.
  7. Raven

    Raven Active Member

    It's all greed.
    Tweener likes this.
  8. PaperDoll

    PaperDoll Well-Known Member

    My mom tells people to subscribe to the local paper so her daughter can keep her job.

    It's not the same paper :rolleyes: but I appreciate the sentiment... even as she complains how thin it is and how she would have canceled without my very significant employee discount. She also says I work too much and should get paid more. She's got that part right.
    Doc Holliday and Tweener like this.
  9. britwrit

    britwrit Well-Known Member

    I can't think of any other business that's been so good at training would-be customers not to pay for stuff.

    Back before the internet, I was easily spending twenty bucks a week on papers. Forget inflation. That's more than my monthly digital subscription to the Times.
  10. Tweener

    Tweener Active Member

    Right. I think $10 a month for a digital subscription is a steal. Others complain about that price because somewhere along the line they got it in their heads that information should be free.
  11. Raven

    Raven Active Member

    "Why pay for a subscription, when I can just read the news, for free, on Facebook?"

    Doc Holliday and Tweener like this.
  12. Central-KY-Kid

    Central-KY-Kid Well-Known Member

    And there are things I pay for, especially in streaming media. Don't know how many itunes cards I have gone through.

    But if I want to listen to a song, I'm probably pulling it up on YouTube. That's not my fault as a consumer, that's the music industry's fault for allowing people to upload copyright songs and not fighting it each and every time (like taking down Napster).

    As far as the news being free, no one feels like they are paying anything when it comes to watching the local news on TV at 5 or 6 and then then national/world news right after. Or getting it every hour on the hour on the radio.

    As far as newspaper websites having unlocked back doors and open windows, that's their fault for not setting up better sites (and there are some that you better have a login to get in). Not the reader's fault for looking through that window or walking through that door. Problem is, the sites almost HAVE to be set up this way if you want your site to be searchable via google (or you're leaving a lot of hits on the table).

    I get plenty of my news locally via facebook or twitter.

    * Just this weekend, the new state of the art movie theater (which is big in a community of 30K) announced its opening date, job fair, logo and seating (all recliners with foot rests and double cup-holders) on its facebook page.

    * Kept track of every high school football game by following their twitter accounts.

    * Learned the new city manager by the city posting it on its facebook page.

    * A national known act coming to the local performing arts center was posted on facebook and then shared and also put on its marquee on the busiest road in the county. Didn't take long for word to spread and it didn't need the newspaper's help.

    The local paper, which I worked at for 15-plus years, got its ass kicked on each and every one of those stories (or was completely non-existent).
    2muchcoffeeman likes this.
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