ReBorn on my doorstep- DDN dumbs down

In what could signal the death sentance for the Dayton City Paper– the “new and improved” Dayton Daily News showed up on my doorstep (late) this morning- complete with Rob Brezsny’s Freewill Astrology column. Many people considered the astrology in the DCP the only truly redeeming feature- it’s just a matter of time before the DDN starts distributing the GO section free- as has happened in many major markets where the dying business of printing news on dead trees has shown remarkable effort to squeeze the last dollars out of a dead technology.

Younger audiences aren’t interested in paying for a newspaper when they can get their news online- and speaking of online- it seems that once again the DDN only ReWorked half their business- ignoring a much needed ReDesign of their ReTarded website.

Not only is the site difficult to navigate, the randomness of what makes it online and what doesn’t is maddening. For instance- today they did a feature on a movie that was going to be shown at 2 and 4:15 today- and then not again- as part of a film festival. They dedicated a “full page” in their new tab arts section- but the story wasn’t available online to help promote the showings.

Besides the no-jump stories (which just means the story shows up in 2 places- and repeats itself) and shuffling the sections- with a new look- and a few new items- the paper is still missing the one thing that makes a newspaper worthwhile- real, insightful content. Thankfully, Tom Archdeacon still works there- but, with the dumbing down (larger print- no jumps) and the increase in “police beat” coverage- a stabbing in Dayton will still be more important in the DDN than the rape of Darfur- or the pillaging of the US by GWB and company.

Frankly, if this is the best they can do- moving to the NCR property wasn’t enough- they should have moved to Warren County next to their printing presses and let someone who really understands what the power of the press could mean for this community. We need smarter people to move this area forward- not a dumbed down media.

What do you think?

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1 Response

  1. liz May 21, 2006 / 10:07 am

    I know I’m slow on this, but I only just discovered your site. I’m glad to see someone out there advocating for Dayton and integration of Dayton cities and an end to some of the stupider policies I have seen. Thanks for the props on my letter to the editor about city integration.

    But as to this action item–what is wrong with DDN? The old paper wasn’t stellar, but the new paper is idiotic, in they ways you point out and others. Is it written for people who are slow? People with poor eyesight? People who couldn’t care less about what happens in the world? People who are too lazy to flip to another page to finish reading a story? This changes suggests that Daytonians are morons who can’t be bothered with a little world news and some in-depth local news. If there *are* readers who don’t care about world news, I don’t think DDN should be catering to them by sticking world news in the second section.

    Not to mention the fact that the entire campaign slogan is both offensive and wildly hyperbolic. The billboards look like signs for Easter services. And the paper has not been anything close to re-born, just dumbed down.

    Thanks, I was looking for a place to vent that!

    Elizabeth Wardle

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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