Monday, March 23, 2009

Are newspapers going away?

The Nation magazine believes that it's time for the federal government to bailout the press, particularly the newspapers in our major cities here in the U.S. I would be all for that, but are most people purchasing a subscription for a local paper? Are they getting their news from TV station websites, Yahoo, AOL, International websites, and sites other than from the newspaper?
My local paper, the Southwest Times Record, has reduced its pages they publish daily, even on Sunday. I could not find the column written weekly by Ben Boulden on local interest last week. So, newspapers in small as well as in big cities, are hurting. I received much more advertising from their Sunday paper then the newspaper itself. Monday's paper has only an A and B Section. It originally had an A section for news, B section for other interests like Dear Abby, A C section for Sports, and D for Classified Ads. That's gone. A is for news and other stuff; B is for sports and classified ads. We are moving into an electronic world, although most countries in the world are not in the electronic age and they still rely on newspapers for a small, literate population, and shortwave radio, especially where there is no TV. The solution is, according to The Nation, to offer a $200 stimulus package for each taxpayer to purchase a yearly subscription of a newspaper of their choice. And for newspapers to cut down on advertising in order to bring back hard-hitting, investigative reporting. Other nations have rescued their presses, which us, on the other hand, have not. This is what they suggest. I read the article, but I am not presently quoting the magazine verbatum. You need to read it for yourselves. Personally, in a way, I think newspapers are going away. Little Rock used to have two competing newspapers, The Gazette and The Democrat. The Gazette was more liberal, but not very liberal. The Democrat was real conservative. The Gazette died back in 1990 and now they have one newspaper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and in my opinion, it is right-wing. They were responsible in throwing out Nolan Richardson as head basketball coach of the Univ. of Arkansas Razorbacks, the man who won the school with his 1994 team its first NCAA Basketball Championship in the school's history. I absolutely hate that paper. Where I live, we have always had one newspaper, the Southwest Times Record and the ADG and also the Van Buren Press Argus do somewhat compete against them. But, if you want to know who died in Fort Smith and the surrounding area, the Southwest Times Record is where you go, not the ADG.

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