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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