Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

Saving Newspapers, Really

I still subscribe to a dead-tree edition. Here's what the Star Trib could do to better: what would be worth more to me. (And if they can't turn my value into profit, to heck with them.)

(1) More comics. Bigger! Even though almost all are available on the Internet, there are plenty I read in dead-tree form. Newspapers used to believe comics sold newspapers, now they treat them like a necessary evil.

(2) Local news. I read national news sites but not usually local ones. The Star Trib seems to think this means more sensationalism.

(3) Stop reprinting old news from the web. Instead, do a better job on basic journalism. Don't compete with the web on junk stories. And dammit, I don't care about reposting blog entries on local politics! If I cared, I'd just read the stupid blog! WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU THINKING?!?!?

(4) Unbundle my newspaper. Don't print sections I don't read. If you can't handle the logistics of delivering the right combination to my door, contract with somebody who can. I'm sure UPS can do it. (This may not work in my current household, since I read the Business section and T reads Sports, but there are still sections that go straight to recycling.)

(5) While you're here, pick up the old newspaper and recycle it.

(6) Provide online services I actually care about. Job fairs? You can't compete there. Your election site is pretty good, though. What else could you do that's local, interactive, and actually useful to me? Can't you add your local annotations on top of Google Maps, and turn the tables on the content-reuse front instead of just whining about it?

(7) Figure out what I actually spend money on. Run those advertisements instead of full-page medical scams.

(Wait, what do I spend money on?)

(8) Put articles together on one page. Seriously. I hate flipping through the paper. Almost all web news has "view on one page".
Tags: newspapers, rant
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