Thursday, May 26, 2011

The newspaper's dead and buried, so welcome to electronica.

Beginning last week, my Thursday column was reinstituted in this space. The column ran in the News and Tribune from January 2009 until February 2011, when it went on "hiatus" during my run for council.

Today's OSIN column: "Municipal dysfunction sweeping prohibited."

Earlier this week, I learned that the hiatus had been transformed into permanent absence owing to changes in the newspaper's structure.

This just in: Merger kills a newspaper column.

As a writer, deadlines have a wonderful way of concentrating thought, and so it is my desire to get back into the weekly column habit. This blog's the place for it until something else comes along.

Furthermore, conceding that the newspaper's current staff will disagree with me, the consolidation of two editions into one of the same size inevitably will have the effect of reducing coverage of New Albany (and to an extent, Floyd County) affairs. Stated simply, New Albany has lost its newspaper. We can cry about it, or move on. I prefer the latter strategy.

"Our newspaper is dead -- long live the Internet", or something like that.

For the time being, and perhaps for a long time to come, this blog is more important than ever before. While I don't have the time to transform NAC into a comprehensive news and commentary entity, repositioning my weekly column and moving it from Thursday newsprint to Thursday bandwidth is attainable, so that's how we'll start the ball rolling. In conjunction with social media, it's enough for now. I am aware of like-minded ideas for on-line publishing in the community, and will continue monitoring these in the hope that something comes to fruition.

Later this morning, my Thursday column will reappear here. The old "Beer Money" tag, which referred to the limited usefulness of the bare farthings grudgingly paid by the Retirement Systems of Alabama to guest columnists in publications like One Southern Indiana Newspaper, no longer makes sense, seeing as remuneration has completely disappeared.

Instead, my new Thursday column will openly harken back to the long-departed days of independent, truly local journalism in New Albany: "On the Avenues." Some of you will know what I mean by this. Look for the Green Mouse to make appearances, too.

Today, the avenues are in Belgrade. Stay tuned, and your suggestions are welcomed.


Iamhoosier said...

The newspaper's staff may disagree with you(and me)but they better come up with some compelling reasons for subscribers to continue, especially the ones in Floyd County.

I love newspapers. My wife will tell you that I'm a damn bear if my morning paper is not promptly delivered. Wherever I have lived, I've subscribed to the local paper and a more major paper. Heck, I still subscribe to the twice weekly newspaper from Tell City. I've never cancelled a subscription because I was always able to glean enough "product" from them to justify continuing. Did I mention that I love newspapers?

That said, unless something changes with the "local" newspaper, I don't see much to glean from it anymore. With the multitude of other information sources and the shrinking content of the local paper, I have to ask my checkbook, "Why?"

I understand that the newspaper business is, and has been, changing. Still, cost cutting has it's limits. Any business, sooner or later, has to ACTUALLY offer something. Roger has to put beer in the bottles for them to sell--or least to sell very many. That business concept hasn't changed--not even for newspapers.

SBAvanti63 said...

AMEN to that, IAH!