Newspapers issues in a nutshell.

Newspapers are dying.

In other news, the sun is warm, water is wet and Norm McDonald is not funny.

But my local paper, the Shreveport Times is doing something about it. In several department stores, they have been giving away papers.
Well, to some people.
I go into the Big Lots over by work and almost always there is the same man. Standing there with a stack of papers to give away.
I can see the idea, give away some papers, maybe you hook one or two people a week, maybe even get a few subscribers? Paper is pretty cheap when looking at 15500 vs 15000Shreveport Times
The fun thing to see is who he gives the Paper to.

Old people.

A well dressed old woman with a buggyfull is going to get a paper, even if he’s gotta run her down in the parking lot.
Who doesn’t ever seem to get one?
Young people.
I don’t think I’ve ever see a young woman with 2-3 kids get one. Ever.

Now I can kinda see this, young people love the internet, young people with a ton of kids might not have the money to burn on a subscription. Young people don’t have the attention span to pour over pages and pages of newsprint.

But here is the problem.
If you are trying to get customers, why go after the ones with the shortest lifespan? Its a paper, not life insurance.
I would think you would want the people with kids, let them read the comics and sports, maybe the parents read on the potty. Maybe the kid really likes Foxtrot, and wants to read more, hey! The paper has a website! Web traffic can pull eyeballs and that is ad revenue. The times has an app, so I’m sure that they are aware of the internet and some of its potential.

I don’t get one, but if I ask, he’ll give me one. 40, male with glasses, no chance I read the paper, right? Lets keep in mind that I have had a newspaper subscription in the past, I have 3 kids that all love to read the paper and the comics is the first thing they read. I take my breakfast at McDonalds, where they also have papers, and I typically read the local product there. Nah, no reason to try and get me as a customer, right?

I just find it interesting that this small fishing expedition is what is wrong, and has been wrong with papers for a long time.

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  1. Bias runs in strange circles and in strange ways…
    Plus old people are either already reading the paper, or, they are not, and, in most cases, thrusting a free copy into their hands, at this point in time, ain’t gonna change that reality all that much, in my opinion… and that’s coming from an old folk who reads two papers a day and has a subscription to both.

  2. One of the things I look forward to is my Sunday NY Daily News. I wait for the paper to hit my door, and then I go out, bring it in and read it while eating my breakfast.

    The rest of the week? I read the same edition while I’m at the table. I can see why newspapers are “dying” out but as you said some of us are still set in our ways. Me? I want my Sunday paper.

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