Letter of the Week

It's hard to say it any better than this letter to the editor in today"s Providence Journal:

01:00 AM EST on Thursday, February 1, 2007

As a 20-year-old college student who reads The Journal on most days, it makes me very angry when I read about how newspapers are going out of business because of falling readership. On Jan. 11, the front section was 14 pages long, while the Lifebeat section was 16 pages long, and a week before there was a day that the front section was only 6 pages long. It seems to me that if readership is dropping, it is because there is a lack of news in the newspaper. If The Journal still wants young people to get their news from the newspaper, it has got to give us some news to read in addition to the feuds between Rosie and The Donald.



In December, I cited a similar letter in questioning whether the ProJo would be better with local ownership:

the ProJo published a December 2005 op-ed by William Falk, the editor of The Week magazine, in which he bemoaned how, even though newspapers remain very profitable, “the mammoth corporations that now run newspapers have responded to the new competitive challenges in the stupidest way possible: by cutting quality . . . The corporate guys, who think only of pleasing Wall Street, keep cutting costs and boosting profits — and wringing their hands in puzzlement when circulation keeps going down.”

It took only a few days before Anthony Baglini of Lincoln implored, in a letter to the editor, “Please take a cue from Mr. Falk’s article: ‘People stop buying newspapers when there’s nothing in them that they don’t already know.’ I might also add: when there’s too much advertising and not enough news.”

Considering some of the intense penny-pinching going on at the newspaper, I'm now more inclined to think that local ownership could indeed do better. 

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