This morning on Facebook an acquaintance was railing against the new Dayton Daily news paywall. There was an article she wanted to read (ironically about the shift to temp and part-time workers) but didn’t want to pay for.
This is a person who rallies against minimum wage jobs, Monsanto and the 1%, yet, doesn’t think the journalists at the Dayton Daily news should be paid for their work.
In Cleveland this week, the Cleveland Plain Dealer cut home delivery to three days a week and laid off about a third of its newsroom. That means a third less people digging into government doings to uncover unethical behavior, misguided spending and criminal conduct- by corporations, criminals, politicians, etc.
While advertising used to support journalism, times are changing. As is the way we gather news. For many people, they depend on their Facebook friends to share some of the news. Others, who don’t have Internet access, may have to depend on local TV news (which is news “lite” at best). It’s hard to monetize information- which just wants to be free on the Internet. The government is having a really hard time understanding that you can’t classify things as secret that are readily available online (that’s from a NY Times article today- but I’m not going to link to it, because all you free loaders don’t subscribe and don’t read it daily).
I pay for the NY Times. It’s worth every penny to me. Unfortunately, I also pay almost as much for the Dayton Daily news, which isn’t worth nearly as much, but I still need to read it so I know what’s going on in this community since I can’t dedicate my life to full-time blogging).
Recently, I made a switch to read the NY Times first, and then the DDn. It makes me feel smarter- and I can skip over about half of the global and national news in the DDn which is just dumbed down NYT content. I almost feel guilty with this switch up- but, if I have to skim one because I’m pressed for time- the DDn skims much easier since there is less substance.
I still laugh about the DDn pricing structure- an all digital edition with all access actually costs more than buying just the Thursday and Sunday paper which comes with full digital access. They do this to increase their printed circulation numbers because they still think their ad rates are based on the dead tree numbers. Makes me laugh, except for the pile of unopened papers in my living room. I much prefer reading a paper on the iPad these days, even if it is the horrible Olive Software version of the DDn.
If you think journalism is important- and being well informed is a civic duty as I do, get a subscription so we don’t have to see the kind of cuts in Dayton that just went down in Cleveland. And, people in charge of the DDn- please consider a way that I can skip getting your dead tree edition and still get the reasonable rate, at heart, I’m still a tree hugger.