Support (?) Your Local (?) Paper

I’m replaying below some of the fascinating responses to my original query (reprinted at the bottom, for what it’s worth).

One of the threads showing the hidden networks we all live in is that some of the strongest endorsements of persisting in support of local journalism were directed at the SEATTLE TIMES, in spite of the exorbitant subscription cost. Coincidentally, a senior editor and later publisher of the Seattle Times was H. Mason Sizemore, a classmate and fellow Flat Hat staff with Pete Crow and me (and our respective partners for that matter) at William and Mary in the mid-1960’s. (W&M doesn’t have a journalism department or major.)

For myself? Well, I’m just about go to the UPS store to send a box of cookies to a friend, and then down to the Post Office to renew my subscription to the Capital. I’ve sort of reached a psychic compromise, based on the previous subscription price, mentioned below as $350/year. So I’m splitting costs of the paper with a friend who is a new Annapolis resident, and whose father REALLY likes the daily and weekly “Puzzle Page” in the Capital.

Best wishes to all

Bruce
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On Sep 10, 2021, at 2:19 AM, carolejoycecrew <carolehcrew> wrote:

I am a Journalism grad from U. of Nevada Reno. I love newspapers and have lived in many cities with great papers. I am fortunate to live now in Seattle where our remaining daily (the Seattle Times) is family-owned and, although significantly thinner, covers local politics and news, likely survives because of sports coverage, and has received several Pulitzers for excellent reporting. They really went after Boeing after the Max disasters. It’s a really good paper, which also has a lot of articles from NYTimes, Washington Post and LATimes. It costs me nearly $100/month. I continue to think it’s worth it.

Carole Crew

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On Tue, Sep 7, 2021 at 5:36 PM Timothy Still <timstill> wrote:

When I joined the board of the Friends of the Pasadena Public LIbrary earlier this year I subscribed to the Pasadena Star-News, which used to be a real newspaper. I thought I would be keeping up on local news and, hopefully, hearing what was going on in the local government. Nada! It’s just a pastiche of wire service stories with an occasional local article. However, it’s only $14/month and there is that occasional bit of useful local information. I’m very tempted to cancel it every time I get the bill.
Then there’s the LA Times, which has been decimated since Covid (advertising disappeared). Nevertheless, it’s still trying to be a real newspaper although it’s unlikely it will ever get back to what it was 2 years. However (again), the Times is approaching $100/month. It’s really tempting to cancel it given all the other sources for information/news that abound. Then I realize that there’s an article from the LA Times in the Apple News a couple of times each week, so guess where the news in some of those sources is coming from?
My father’s career was in journalism and he was the managing editor of a major-ish newspaper for many years. Partly I think I hold onto these print subscriptions largely out of genetic stubborness.

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On Sep 10, 2021, at 2:19 AM, PeterMichaelCrow <@gmail.com> wrote:

the business plan for newspapers started collapsing around 2002 and really newspapers had slowly been declining since the 1960s — i was fortunate the australians bought me out in 2007 and of course they put them all into bankruptsy onl two years later

earlier this year wilford and i taught an adult zoom class for william and mary and i invited the broker who oversaw the sale of my newspaper properties to join us — he was easily the top guy in the field until the utter collapse and he sees small opportunities here and there in tiny markets although not print publications of course, and he has no hope for any of the metros once the joy of owning fades and the current crop of owners tire of subsiding them — i concur

what is happening is an unpleasant but realistic end game often used in business now being applied to the newspaper industry — it is to to cut cut cut and continue to draw money to the day the busness itself goes broke — howard johnsons made money to the day it went broke — my flagship daily has one emplyee down from sixty these days and so, for it, the final night draws near — if there was any way to save the industry someone would have already figured it out — i certainly tried a variety of strategies

the real question is wheter we govern a free country without a vigorous press and informed involved electorate — i’m afraid we cannot and i hope i am wrong

About Bruce

Work for sustainable development of small islands; ex-Peace Corps (Volunteer and staff) in LA & Caribbean; cruised Caribbean on S/Y Meander for three years; like small tropical islands, French canals, Umbria, Tasmania, and NZ. Married 52 years to the late Kincey Burdett Potter (see Kincey.org). Former president of Island Resources Foundation.
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