Though many lament the drop in subscriptions and advertisers as effects of the economic crisis, papers have been failing in their mission. As children of the Internet age, we know the first rule of economics in our bones, something that the newspaper industry as a whole has failed to acknowledge: people will not — ever — pay for something that they can find for free.
To survive, a local paper needs to provide something more than a dressed-down version of a story from NYTimes.com. It needs to provide a local window into our community.
Newspapers shouldn’t be a charity, and subscribing shouldn’t be an altruistic act. Support your local paper, but push for them to deserve your business. Make it known what you expect, and hold them accountable. A world with a vibrant journalistic industry is better for everyone, and an interested, proactive public is the key.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
"To survive, newspapers must provide a window into the local community"
Daniel Zarchy, student journalist at City on a Hill Press: