Comments

1

Local Print Media is doomed because people choose To Not read a paper. What for? Local news is on my phone, tv, pc, etc.

2

PS: Nothing happens.

3

@1 Who puts it on your phone? How do they get paid?

4

Vice isnt laying people off because of a trump tariff, you disingenuous hack. Maybe, just maybe its people like you. Maybe nobody wants to read instructions on how to "go down on a non-op trans woman" (a real vice article). Cry all you want about conservamedia, but I hope trump raises that tariff so high that your fishwrap rag is forced go digital only. Its time for you cap hill hypocrites to stop killing trees already.

5

Is it free crack for trolls day?

6

I've posted several times on the enormous carbon footprint a publication like The Stranger has. Want to go green? Go digital.
Asking people to subscribe to newsprint and all of it's advertising fliers is telling me to continue to pollute and create more greenhouse gases like the old days. Talk about hypocrisy.
"The conservative news outlets are doing fine. Their model is very successful."
Your saying you can't compete? If nobody is reading your news then there's nothing you can do to stop them.

7

You'd think facespace and google would be able to carve out even a small percentage of their ad revenue that appears on the same page as lifted media content to pay the creators of that media.

8

What happens when print media dies? A Gallic shrug.

The only two print media publications I ever read religiously were the Stranger and Seattle Gay News. Seattle Times and get PI both kinda suck and always have. The Weekly sometimes had cool shit, but not always. The TNT is a joke, and the Olympian is okay but often just reprints stuff from other papers.

Online news has been a much better alternative, I can read stuff from other countries. I can read stuff by socialists and anarchists. I can read stuff that focuses in on topics I find fascinating. It doesn’t all come through the filter of the Gray Lady or WaPo anymore. It’s not just having to settle for Time or Newsweek now. I can read the U.K. Morning Star, or The Baffler or Jacobin. Those voices aren’t shut out of the conversation anymore, they’re not as hard to find as they used to be. I can see what the CBC or the BBC are saying about things. Instead of just reading tiny columns about Brexit, I can watch the Parliament on their YouTube channel. I can read about Trudeau and Singh in the Toronto Star if I want to.

Online opened up a whole world that was closed to me hen it was all, print media. I had to rely on what Frank Blethen allowed me to see in his papers. Now, I can say fuck you, Frank.

So yeah, print is dying. Good fucking riddance, I piss on its grave.

9

The Stranger relentlessly sneered at Seattle Weekly for years. It was a competitor as Seattle's other free weekly. Some sniping might have been expected. The Stranger was nuts about it. Now The Stranger is sad.

10

@7, If social websites are breaking copyright laws then they should pay. Otherwise nobody owes anybody anything. Should Firestone subsidize wagon wheel companies?
If advertisers no longer want to spend money on newsprint that's their decision. They will be the first to ask you are your eyes on your phone or the $2 Seattle Times you bought this morning?

11

What happens? Rich gets a job at Starbucks is what happens.

12

What happens? Real Change becomes the last truly free print publication.

13

Ad rates in a printed issue of The Stranger? Say, for one-half of one page in two or three issues: think thousands, not hundreds, of dollars. And few ads are worth the money paid for them, and most businesses know it. Classified ads aren't a bad deal--but large ads, even for one-eighth of a page? Rarely worth it--and no person or business owes it to The Stranger or anyone else to pay for ads that almost never come close to paying for themselves. A few judiciously placed links and recommendations on friends' blogs and websites offer more promise than expensive advertisements in print publications with ad rates only rich people can afford. The whole relying-on-advertising-for-revenue model is dubious, and vaguely implying moral responsibility to advertise is unfair. Defend the value of printed newspapers? Great. Depend on (expensive) advertising to keep them afloat? Not feasible. A different model is needed.

14

@1 I think there’s is a certain kind of credibility that goes with having a print edition.

If you’re online only, you’re one out of a sea of blogs, pundits, self-promoters, and twitter/instagram/YouTube Z-list “celebrities.”

Having a print magazine or newspaper sends the message that your publication is actually something substantial. It has the resources to print and distribute itself in the real world. It’s not some fly-by-night Kremlin operation or axe-grinder’s crazy spew.

Likewise, you give up quite a bit when you ditch the print side of your business. I’ve noticed that I’m much less likely to be interested in a media outlet that’s lost it’s print version, whether large (Newsweek) or small (the old gay rag where I live that went online only).

15

@8 I think every publication you mentioned has some kind of non-internet media channel, either print or TV. Even Jacobin, which is relatively new, decided they needed some kind of print presence. I think there’s a reason for that.

16

The printed press is facing both corporate consolidation and technological innovation. The medium itself (digital or print) should have no impact on the quality of the content and the need for scribes and analysts. Consolidation into a few large commercial corporations however is certain to make bottom line the only consideration driving news coverage and send reporters packing. The demise of local print media is probably contributing to media concentration so it is making matters worse, although @8 makes a good point that most local print media didn't produce much worthwhile content. There is a market for quality media so interested journos have to retool, form new professional organizations, and commit 100% to the digital platform if they want to survive.

17

Jacobin = Hipster Marxists, without a death toll (yet).

18

@16: Yes, and I would expect you would think that harvesting trees for newsprint should be shunned. Trees are a renewable resource but the footprint of the timber industry, mills, and loss of photosynthesis and the little time we have left to turn it around - drives that point, I would expect.

19

18,

It’s not just that. Relying on newsprint means limiting the number and kind of news media a person in one local area can access to just whatever publications can be physically trucked into that area.

Twenty years ago, it wasn’t easy to get news media from other parts of the world. Living in Olympia at the time, the best I could hope for was whatever Bulldog News was selling. It was even harder to access points of view that fell outside the perspectives allowed by major newspapers. To read news stories written by anarchists or socialists meant paying a lot of money for a niche publication that you could only by if you knew a member of the party or group that produced it. If there weren’t any branches of the ISO in your town, you weren’t going to get their newspaper, in fact, you probably wouldn’t even be aware that they even had a newspaper. And forget it if you wanted to read a story in a publication that was both foreign and written from an outsider point of view, like the Morning Star UK. That was just flat impossible.

Digital media means I can see what the New Zealand press was saying about the Christchurch shootings on the day it happened. If I wanted to read what anti-Putin dissidents like Garry Kasparov had to say about demonstrations like the March of the Discontented, I was out of luck. Or if I just wanted to hear a different take on an event in the US, say, to hear what the BBC or the CBC were saying about the latest Trump scandal, even that was out of reach. And forget it if I wanted to hear what socialists had to say about the District 3 city council election, even though they’ve obviously got a stake in it and their point of view is important to hear.

Why should I mourn the death of print when it was the print media that lied to us on 9/11 and said we should go to war with Iraq over WMD? What credibility does the Grey Lady have when everything published there comes from a pro-Wall Street slant?

The only thing I fear from digital media is the potential for the US Government to shut it down if they so fancy. Print media’s one advantage is you can still smuggle in samizdat, whereas the NSA probably knows already what kind of online media you consume. If the jackboots ever come to power in DC, it’ll be pretty easy for them to draw up a list of which one of us goes first against the wall.

Aside from that concern, however, I think digital media is always better than print.

20

The Stranger, the alt-weekly tabloid... or rather, bi-weekly magazine, is doing just fine. No chance it's going to follow City Arts into oblivion...

I think it's a mistake to concentrate on the medium. What's important is that we have local journalists working. I'm not sure whether subscriptions or an overhaul of internet advertising is key to making the economics work. Hopefully somebody figures it out.


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