I have a bone to pick with someone, anyone, everyone maybe, and I don’t know where to start. Having a ‘fixer’ mindset, I am aware that because a solution hasn’t been found doesn’t mean there isn’t one. I don’t have the skills and/or authority to fix a whole lot of stuff I see problems with. Who knows? Those may not be problems at all, but works in progress under the direction of those qualified to be involved.
Nope, I am NOT talking about walls here.
I am talking about print…news print…our local paper…our Prospect-News.
There has been a lot of complaining going on. The price went up, the number of pages went down, delivery was modified and the distribution hub moved with a new publisher.
*At $1.00 it’s still a super value for a tiny town’s weekly. Cheaper than a fast-food breakfast and way better for mind and body.
*The best supporter of a ‘Shop Local’ effort is a town’s paper. ‘Advertise Locally’ should be part of that effort. Don’t be two-faced about it.
*Lots of businesses have winter slumps. The local paper is a business and is not immune. Advertising decreases so costs go up as page numbers go down.
*Want more of what you like? Contribute!
*Don’t like what you see? Provide positive patron feedback.
*Facebook is not an effective substitute for print communication in EVERY situation. ‘Free’ but at what ultimate cost? It’s great for hype but not for substance. Too much too fast for too broad an audience can vanish in the screen’s glare.
*Fact-checking before print time gives newspapers a checks-and-balances system that Facebook can’t top. Anyone can say anything and hit ‘Post’ and the world of readers accepts it. A lot of it is baloney or out-of-date. Raise your hand along with me if you have been guilty of sharing old news.
*” Well, I put it on Facebook,” doesn’t mean ‘it’ can be found again, or that the truly interested will see it ever. For many, the tech ‘newsfeed’ is hit or miss. Some who maneuver through technology with super speed and skill don’t seem to be the same ones who leave the screens long enough to participate and/or spend $$.
Let’s talk about Facebook for a paragraph or two. (I work for a ‘print’ magazine in addition to penning this for-fun column so I have first-hand knowledge to back these OPINIONS. I am also a Facebook user with a personal account and administrative roles in commercial/organizational ones).
*Relying on only Facebook for getting the word out about events seems to promote procrastination planning. Facebook is fast/easy/free, so brainstorms become tomorrow’s or next week’s events, as though all potentially interested individuals will see it and have ample time to plan participation with the gang. Oh, wait… another organization planned the same way… now unbeknownst to both they are overlapping on dates/times thus interfering with the successes each might have.
*Facebook is sometimes TOO fast and easy; times/dates are incorrect, contradicting or omitted. Proofreading for errors made by clicks and taps must be a task deemed so insignificant that many skip it altogether. Oh, decide a brainstorm is not such a good idea after all? Then delete it!! Customers may delete you after showing up to a closed door or a cancellation.
*I LOOK for events for my job, but I need them a month ahead. There is that deadline monster to deal with. I can’t include it if it hasn’t been planned yet or if it won’t be presented to the Facebook world till the week of or three days before. I know the magazine’s target audience; they have time, $$ and influence. Not that spontaneity is out the window, but one doesn’t get time, $$ and influence without a bit of planning.
*Facebook relies on phones. Again, the ease of snapping photos, pressing ‘send’ to various folders, sharing with the cloud (I don’t get that yet) gives users a false sense of secure record-keeping. Unless we keep passwords for posterity and/or print photos and documents, they are lost in the sheer volume of stuff that grows exponentially.
*Newspapers are reliable historical sources of valuable, significant events. What a buried treasure the VFW scrapbooks were in researching for its 50th anniversary! They were full of PN clippings that provided a kaleidoscope view of life back when. How will our kids hang on to history? Please don’t reply, “With social media.” Smoke and mirrors at best. It isn’t drawing them to be creators/witnesses of that history. Too many are only passive viewers of the sliver of time that streams across their screens.
Call me a print pusher. I buy and share my copies of the Prospect-News. I trust it, I rely on it; it’s a cherished connection to my town, a life-line. More print pushers welcome!