Newsicide

That’s what newspaper and news media outlets everywhere are committing now. They can’t kill themselves fast enough. They see one newspaper ready to go over the edge to extinction and the new lemmings can’t resist doing it, too.

So today, our morning newspaper wants to speed up the process which they have already revved up before. They announce on Page 1 that there is no Local section anymore. Isn’t that the point of a local newspaper? National news is everywhere. You can’t escape it. It’s on Facebook, Twitter, the radio, even the local news stations fill up on it. But it’s the local stuff people like.

We want to know what’s going on in our government, our schools, our businesses and the lives of fellow Memphians. It helps us to make decisions in our own lives. The CA says it will give “a sharper focus on local news coverage.” They promise more on the front page. OK, but that is only for the most important local events. Sometimes what matters is in the smaller stories. When the newspaper gave up on daily news of record listings, that was a bad decision, too. In that is where you find a lot of information useful to businesses, families and neighbors.

There is – or was – the advertisements. It helps to know about new products or sales at local stores. But even that is shrinking.

Remember Lydel Sims and Edwin Howard? They wrote about humor and entertainment. There is no room for them anymore in a newspaper. That’s a shame, because they appealed to local tastes and values.

Reporter David Waters gives a very odd apology/explanation on Page 2. “High tech changes bring some high costs” is the title of the article that weighs the low cost of technology to the high cost in jobs. Obviously Gannett has made its choice.

There is a point, though, where the returns begin to shrink. Less local news will mean less local readership in all probability.

Why buy a newspaper or subscribe to one that doesn’t answer the populace’s needs?

You might as well just read Nextdoor Neighbors. You’ll find out more there about crime, schools, businesses and attitudes in your neighborhood.

And cost? Nothing. Hard to compete with that.

It’s hard to find the Appeal in the Commercial anymore.

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