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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Black and White

I feel good when I see people interested in news, even though tragedy often drives them there.

My Monday morning was spent in Pike County, doing updates on Friday night's shooting at Blooming Grove that killed one state trooper and badly injured another.

We were making the rounds when we stopped by a gas station/mini mart.  The truck needed gas and I needed to use the "porcelain conveniences" as radio DJ Doug "Greaseman" Tracht was fond of saying.  The newspaper rack was near the front door, and as I was exiting the store, I noticed a lot of people clustered around the rack and buying newspapers.

OK.  The problems of newspapers in the modern age are well documented.  Many have had massive problems transitioning to digital.  By the time the ink hits the paper, the news is old.  Many newspapers are printed miles and miles away from the cities in which they are distributed. It's a tough business.

But, on the other hand, newspapers can provide context and depth.  It's something we broadcasters, in this fast moving headline era, can't do.

I've known a lot of print people during my time in the business.  I've respected most.  Some were horribly incompetent.  Others were deceitful.  They were in the minority.  I guess the print people can say the same about broadcasters.

It hurts when I see newspapers struggle.  We're all brethren in the information business.  With any luck, the Pike County story will drive people back to print, they'll stick around for a while, and realize what they've been missing.