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This guy nails it

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SixToe, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    The synopisis on Poynter.org offers this, which I believe is the thought about many readers concerning their newspaper:

    Steve Outing was ready to drop the Boulder Daily Camera's print edition some time ago, but his wife resisted. "What put her over the edge -- and allowed me to prevail with my suggestion of abandoning print -- was the most recent bill. It included a significant price hike, just as we were noticing the paper and its coverage get thinner and thinner. Pay a lot more and get less? ...For a product that increasingly is less useful in light of online alternatives, there was no motivation to accept the price hike."


    Increase the cost, reduce the product. Great job strategy!
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Thankfully, that paper must be an abberation. No other papers would be that crazy.
  3. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    "Charge more for less" is the stupider second cousin of "do more with less."
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    We can't even pretend to add something to make it seem fresh and new:

    The Podunk Press -- now with new flavor crystals
    The Podunk Press -- now with a new clean, fresh scent
    The Podunk Press -- new advanced cleaning formula!

    Maybe we could go with:

    The Podunk Press -- Now more portable and with less news that just pisses you off anyway!
  5. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    He: Hey, look how thin the paper is this morning!

    She: Yeah, the local rag is getting rid of more of those writers who annoy us.

    He: You mean, like, all of them?
  6. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    A golf writer I deal with on some of my Florida events had the perfect analogy to this subject that -- despite all of our logical arguments -- keeps happening with alarming and self-defeating regularity.

    He said that even though Ford is losing billions of dollars, they're not all of a sudden building shittier cars. Why are newspapers, which are still MAKING MONEY, putting out a shittier product?

    Well, for those of you not fans of Ford, take that with a cluster of salt. But the larger point stands.

    Rather, it screams.
  7. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    In fact, Ford has bought out hundreds or even thousands of workers -- at more generous terms than most bought-out journalists get, by the way.

    But that is in part because manufacturing of their automobiles has been mechanized. Robots and such, y'know? Newspaper ownership can only drool over the idea of mechanical workers who don't require paychecks and can work nonstop 24/7. For now, they simply try to replicate that by demanding ... blogs.

    Robots are lucky, too, because they don't have memories or feelings or dreams or smarts, so when they're treated like tools by the bosses, they don't know any better.
  8. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    I was in Michigan for business when Ford got rid of a third of its workforce -- at quite generous terms, as you've noted.

    The point he made was -- and remains -- valid. You've got a company hemorraghing red ink and they're not responding by making their product worse.

    Say what you will for an industry that reacts to change at the pace of a melting glacier, but at least the U.S. auto industry -- or what remains of it -- is trying to make better cars.

    The same can't be said for the newspaper biz, which -- as I've been the 4,359th person to note here -- is still making money.
  9. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    Two jokes and a serious comment:

    Joke 1: At least you know this thread isn't about Mikey
    Joke 2: Wait, I forgot it

    Serious comment: Problem with the Ford analogy is that they're not axing willy-nilly; they (and the other Not As Big As They Used To Be 3) are trying to do in essence what we're trying to do -- cut stuff that's expensive and/or unpopular to focus on the things they do well. Ford isn't killing the F-150, but Chrysler is telling the Pacifica to not let the door hit it where the good Lord split it. If anything, it's their behind-the-curve thinking re: more fuel-efficient cars and CUVs that hurts them.

    At this point in the game, and it's a slow evolution that's gotten me to this place in life, I believe that if fortifying the print edition is the equivalent of ramping up production of the Pacifica. That's not our best move. I hope there's always a dead-wood paper, but that's a fringe benefit, not the focus of our efforts. Or at least it should be.
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