Friday, January 14, 2022

Newspaper Roulette


As I have noted in this space many times, I have a great deal of respect for the newspaper industry and the people in it.  We broadcasters are hit and run artists.  Get in, get the pictures and a few nuggets of information, and get out.  The newspaper people are much more detail oriented.  They're specialists.  I envy and admire that.

My local newspaper is trying its best to blow any good will and admiration accumulated over the years.

I call it "newspaper roulette."  You never know if you will find a newspaper on the front porch in the morning.

I get it.  There are labor shortages everywhere.  Carriers are tough to find.  For a while, my paper gave up and stuck it in the mail every day.  There is a huge problem with that.  The US Postal Service is in worse shape than newspapers.  I don't get my mail until late in the afternoon, and there are many days when it doesn't arrive at all.

Keep in mind that I paid for my subscription a year in advance.  You already have my money.  Providing such shoddy service is simply bad business practice.

It's clear the paper has to change its business model.  Give up on carriers as independent contractors.  Hire them.  Put them on the payroll.  Give them benefits.  After all, you have to do something to justify that increase in newsstand price from $1.50 to $2.00 that kicked in January 1. 

What's that noise I hear?  It sounds like a hammer.  The newspaper industry is slamming nails in to its own coffin.