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February 8, 2009

Cancelling my newspaper subscription, with some regrets

by at 5:06 pm.

After much consideration, I have decided to cancel my subscription to the Boston Globe not because I dislike the content of that newspaper; I do like it and I read it everyday. I just do not read the print copy anymore. The paper is delivered in a clear plastic bag to me very early in the morning; I take the newspaper out the plastic bag, put the paper in a recycle pile and the plastic in a recycle container.

Although I no longer read the print version, I read the web version faithfully. I also read the Sun’s and the New York Times web sites as well as numerous other old media and new media sites. I along with a growing majority of people get my news throughout the day from various sources; even with the fluff stuff that I read, I read on the internet. And as for analysis and commentary, it is all over the internet; more than I can digest.

I am a traditionalist. We have always had a newspaper in my house. Probably the majority of blog readers have stopped reading print copies of newspapers long time ago; I guess I am showing my age. It was not an easy decision because I know by eliminating my subscription, in a very, very small way, I am adding to the decline of the newspaper industry as we know it. A few weeks back, the Globe offered another buyout not only to some workers for the print edition but this time also for workers on their web site, boston.com. As we all know, it has been over a decade that newspapers have been trying to come up with a business model for their web site; and for the most part, they have not succeeded. I do not think charging a fee for a news website is going to work.

Although the major newspapers in the U.S. have closed many of their international desks, you can easily read first hand reporting from foreign media sources. And I think we will always a vibrant national media whether it be the various cable and commercial networks, weekly magazines, the major national newspapers or the big name web sites.

My concern is the local news in general and Lowell specifically. Although we have a number of blogs and the list continues to grow, we have a locally owned and operated radio station; and of course we have our local access PEG stations operated by Lowell Telecommunications Corporation, but I still rely on the Sun to get my local news. In spite of the strong-arm editorial position of the paper, the reporters do a fine job. Unfortunately, they are down to a handful of individuals. Reporters who have left the paper are not replaced; instead their beat is merged with another reporters’ or correspondents are hired to cover an event. And now, thanks to Dick I understand that due to financial problems at corporate, the staff had to take a week furlough. Ouch!

I truly appreciate professional newspaper journalists and I am concerned for the future of that occupation if it is not financially viable. Anyone who blogs, understands and recognizes the necessity of original news sources. Even if all of us who consider ourselves citizen journalists do our job, will that be enough?

5 Responses to “Cancelling my newspaper subscription, with some regrets”

  1. waittilnextyr Says:

    I handle the plastic wrap of the Globe as trash, not recyclable plastic. Am I wrong, or are you getting away with something?

  2. Mimi Says:

    Wait:

    I was bringing it to the plastic recycle bin at my local supermarket. My condo association does not recycle yet :-( . Was I wrong? Well, I won’t have that problem anymore. The newspapers go to the St. Margaret School paper re-cycle bin.

  3. Gerard Donahue Says:

    Mimi:

    Hi. We subscribe to the Eagle Tribune 7 days a week and the Globe on Sundays only. I can see what you mean of the local news losing focus. The tribune also seems to be losing its local scope and either doing very few local stories or uploading it online. Also, their are still some people who do not have a PC and get their news from the print edition.

  4. Eleanor Rigby Says:

    I suppose it boils down to your morning routine. I enjoy getting up and reading the morning paper with a cup of coffee. Lately by the time I’ve finished my coffee the paper is read.

    The morning paper is The Globe because my other “morning paper” isn’t delivered until mid afternoon. By the time I get to that afternoon “morning” paper I have already read or heard the bulk of the stories.

    I only keep that one for the “Irish sports pages”.

    The plastic bags make good recepticles for fido’s droppings.

  5. Christopher Says:

    I still prefer print versions because often something catches my eye that I wouldn’t otherwise see if I were selecting only articles I knew I wanted to read.

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