Saturday, May 14, 2005

Newsworthy?

This article appeared on DailyBreeze.com. It's a well-written story: personable, conversationional, and light. If I lived in the Southern California area, I could definately see myself subscribing to the paper if more stories were written like this one - and that says a lot since all of my news-gathering comes from the Internet.

But, what's newsworthy about someone who sports a Christmas Tree in May as if it were this week's issue of TV Guide? I read and re-read the article looking for some connection to anything relevant and couldn't find a single link.

I want to clarify that I'm not from the Southern California area, nor have I ever visited the region; so, it's quite possible this editorial has some tie to a local issue.

Maybe this piece is a new newspaper tactic to regain lost audiences and re-define the role of the local newspaper. I've stated before that newspapers will never die. They are too vital to each community to ever be replaced by internet news. No doubt, newspapers will, again, have to adapt because they cannot compete with up-to-the-minute news coverage the way the Internet and cable news can.

I forsee a change in format, content, and audience-targetting in the future. National and global news will still have homes on the front page, but they will resemble the abbreviated form that defines USA Today - just enough information for a reader to have something to discuss around the water-cooler at work. Outside of that, newspapers such as the Breeze will find themselves writing for and about the community that buys their papers from boxes outside the gas station they stop at every morning for their cups of coffee.

Page two will probably be the local school board and city council stories - the breaking news of the town. The rest of the paper will have to be feature stories. These are the stories people read after work and before dinner. These are the stories that keep strangers in touch with their neighbors.

Newspapers are a recorded history. But, more than that, they are the all-powerful omniscient beings that record society reflections. Americans and the United States can be generalized as a singular people, but New Yorkers are different than Oregonians. And even within those states, communities, towns, and neighborhoods have their own unique personalities. Thus, the role of the local newspaper is to capture those personalities and keep them forever recorded and documented for future generations.

Is this Daily Breeze editorial such a community reflection or something that should've been posted on the author's blog?

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