I thought I would post a link to my column from a couple weeks ago, which prompted a number of responses from local readers.
It's about the recent cancellation of my subscription to our big local newspaper from full access (print and digital) to digital-only.
I pulled the plug. I still find it sad, but I am not looking back, and I don't regret it. It was time.
Maybe I am old-fashioned but I cannot bear the thought of not actually having a newspaper in my hand however unweildy it can be.
My husband reads the Democrat-Gazette and I read the local paper. Unless I'm mistaken, both now only have a Sunday print edition (which we still receive). Neither of us was happy about having to go digital, but will both admit that it's what we now prefer (even on Sunday). That said, I print out the puzzles (daily crossword, sudoku, and cryptoquote) so I can work them at my leisure. Keep an open mind. You will adjust and may eventually find you like it better!
Kelly, it’s been two weeks (I called and made the change the day my column was first posted) and I’ve completely adjusted. Probably should have done it a long time ago. And according to readers who emailed, I convinced some of them to do it too. So Gannett might not be very happy with me, although I think their business plan is to drive us all to digital. Once they don’t have the cost of printing, that will more than offset the loss in revenue from the print subscriptions.
Our local paper hasn’t had a Sunday edition since before I moved here 10 years ago. Several years ago they stopped printing a Monday edition as well. Shortly after that the Wednesday and Friday edition became digital only and that was when I finally started reading it digitally. We still got the three days of physical newspapers delivered to our door but I finally realized that nobody in the family was reading them and all I was doing was bringing them in and then putting the accumulated piles into the recycling bin.
I have grown to prefer the digital paper though like Kelly, I print out the crossword and Suduko to do at my leisure. My biggest complaint is that many of the articles printed in the digital only edition are also printed again in the physical editions the following day at the expense of more new material. But like you I suspect this is temporary until it is entirely digital.
My previous response was on my iPad so excuse the poor editing and incomplete thoughts. I left out that when I realized that all I was doing was getting the physical paper and recycling it since I was reading the digital, I cancelled the physical paper about a month back. It has been an on and off battle getting that newspaper delivered somewhere in the vicinity of the front porch and not soaking in a puddle on the street, up on the roof or during this time of year, buried in a random snow drift somewhere along the driveway. So it has been liberating not having to deal with all those issues though I realize that someone is getting closer to being out of a job or without extra money as a result.
One of the things I dislike about the industry in general is the consolidation going on in the industry right now. My local paper, part of a conglomeration is as I speak, trying to be bought by another conglomeration. Already the local charm has been gutted by prior buyouts with an editor sent packing and two local writers no longer writing. More and more it feels more like it is being written by a computer algorithm than by humans. Short of the occasional pertinent local news that I need, it is slowly becoming less relevant in my life. I may have to eventually go back to reading the state wide paper, digitally, which I ditched over a decade ago because I had even a worse time getting it delivered reliably to my address.
Ed, you are right. Even the publication I write for, founded by a displaced reporter who was downsized, has been sold to a publisher and has lost some of the homey feel it started with. In the end, these are businesses, and many of them are struggling to survive. If a local owner can cash out, I can hardly blame them. Media -- especially print media -- is, quite simply, not what it used to be.
We stopped our newspaper a year ago. I miss it. I'd be a liar if I said differently. I liked the cryptogram and the crossword and the jumble too.
We are stubbornly clinging to our last neanderthal relic, though. We have a landline.
Debby, we had to give up our landline because it got where it only worked about 50% of the time (if that). The technician finally admitted the problem could not be resolved without laying an entirely new line which was out of the question. At the time, our cell phones didn't get reception in most parts of our house, so we had to change carriers in order to at least have minimal reception. The joys of rural living.
Oh Kelly. The irony! We have a technician coming tomorrow. We keep losing our landline and our internet!
We seem to hang onto things for too long. A print newspaper, a landline, DSL internet service. We even keep one plug-on phone (a Trimline) because as long as we have a land-line we can still call out if our power goes down. Nevermind that we have cell phones - though we really should get some battery operated chargers... I feel like way too much of life is spent trying to catch up with technology.
Frankly, I wish our local newspaper publisher would just stop printing the paper. If I was forced to get my news online, I'd have no real problem doing so. I might complain for a minute, but seriously... it's mostly how I get national news. I can surely manage getting local news that way, too.
If my local newspaper still printed a quality product at a reasonable price, I would have kept my print subscription. But what they continued to do was to reduce the size (and number of editions) while increasing the price. They also made me pay for supplemental content I didn’t want. Now for a nominal price I can see that very newspaper on my screen. I’ve adjusted beautifully, and printing the crossword has become part of my daily routine.
It has been sad to watch the decline of newspapers. On Skidaway, I read the Savannah Morning News and the Wall Street Journal, both of which were delivered between 3 and 4 AM. Here, there is no believer and no daily... But I hate online papers, but that is the way things are going. I find that I read much less of the paper online than in print.
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