I got the newspaper this morning. A regular and routine thing that was changed at the beginning of June.
See, in June, our newspaper switched to a 3-day-a-week format; Thursday, Friday and Sunday. This would be fine, if they had expanded each “daily” copy and the Sunday copy, but they didn’t. The paper even seems smaller than it was before!
Let’s see; I don’t get my comics every day, so I’ve moved to an RSS feed of them. The newspaper has removed some of my beloved comics (Cathy) and replaced them with comics from the Detroit News/Free Press (they are the same paper, even though they’ve got different names). I don’t mind Baldo and Baby Blues, but now it gives me no incentive to buy the Detroit paper on Sunday.
The classifieds… ah, the classifieds. They used to be good (up to 5-7 pages of ads, specifically the help wanted section) but now it’s down to two pages. I know they’re moving to an “online” setup, but sometimes it’s easier to scan the help wanted section of the paper than it is to go through another freaking web search of the same temp jobs, work-at-home scams, Avon sales, and “The Government is Hiring, send us money” ads. >_<
Also, the whole reason to read the paper was Dear Annie, Carolyn Hax, Andrew Heller and all the other columnists in the Living section. The Living section, by the way, is all but gone, replaced with “Posh”. Who the fuck cares about “Posh”? Sounds like a goddamned Spice Girl wrote the section, especially with the quality of writing.
The Saginaw News used to be a halfway decent paper, presenting views from both sides of the fence, but (according to many of the people around here) now presents a “too liberal” viewpoint. Unless you count the gratuitous, literal cock-sucking of Obama in the last presidential election, I don’t see it. But then, all the media were star-struck by the first black president/nominee. I was too, til I lost my job. >_< Personally, I think the paper is too conservative in many of their views.
The quality of writing could be compared to some of the Livejournals I’ve read, written by teenagers. Basically, the level is very base and the writers don’t adhere to telling the whole story in the first paragraph (who, what, when, where, why, how). I’ve read “in-depth” articles that are written worse than blog posts. Now, I’m not docking blogs (I have one, duh) but when the quality of writing is better in a no cost, ad-free medium, than an ad-supported, non-free medium, there’s something wrong.
Anyway, back to the paper this morning.
I went out and got it about 8:30 am. At least it was folded properly. The newspaper drop-off trucks must just plop the papers, unsorted, onto a street corner for the carriers to distribute. The carriers need to get them out as fast as they can (I think the paper is to be at your house by 7:30 or 8 am), so they throw them together with the ads. This shows, as my paper is never in numerical/alphabetical order of the sections, and the ads are strewn thoughout the newspaper. It should be folded and organised such that I can take all the ads out and sort them without having to take the whole thing apart and put it back in order. This peeves me off more than anything else, I think.
I got it sorted and organised, put the majority of the ads into recycling, and I look at the front page… I’m not really interested in reading any of the news. I’ve gotten the news all ready, through RSS feeds, NPR, the NewsHour, or Nightly Business Report.
It’s bad when the TV/radio/internet is a more reliable souce of information than a newspaper. Newspapers shouldn’t be dying all over the US. They should be growing. The need for news is ever growing, but the sources, while varied, aren’t as reliable as a paper. After all, a paper has to verify their sources, write the articles and make sure the whole thing is up to being printed on paper before it can go out. I don’t see that anymore. I basically see an AP/Reuters RSS feed and blog-quality writing that is hashed together with mega-ads about the newest sale at Macy’s/Penny’s/Kohl’s/random-department-store.
No wonder papers are dying. Like I said before, there’s a greater need for them in this ever-changing world. The internet has diversified sources and made it easier for people to get information, but a newspaper sometimes seems more “real” because it’s printed. I know I shouldn’t believe anything in print (I don’t believe everything I read) but if it’s printed, it should be correct and easy to understand.