The nugget, the lede, the important issue that is rapidly being buried here is that when I walk out to my driveway in the morning and pick up my nicely rubber-banded and bagged print newspaper, there is no one else out there in bathrobes to join me.
I am the only house for BLOCKS that gets the daily newspaper.
Where are people getting their news, then?
What a GREAT question! I haven’t subscribed to a “local paper” for a very long time. I don’t subscribe to one here in Harrisburg, although I do like the Patriot-News. (and I do like the reporting by Daniel Victor! see him at twitter) I didn’t subscribe to one in Dayton, either. I can’t remember if I ever subscribed to one in State College.
For me, the question is simple, but the answer is complex. It’s not as simple as “I can get all my news online,” although I obviously can, since I linked to the Patriot-News. I also receive the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post delivered to my Kindle. (without advertising.)
So why don’t I get a local paper? Honestly, I haven’t had a whole lot of faith in the ability of local reporters to get the story “right.” I wrote in a comment back on DaSilva’s blog
After service in the Armed Forces for 20 years, and a few other jobs along the way, I have noticed how what “really happened” and what is reported are often quite different. Sometimes with serious consequences. Most often, it is because the reporter was not familiar with the actual organization/technology/operation on which they reported.
I have found that this is not limited to stories of complex military and political issues. When I am familiar with the story I read, I find errors in fact that just “get in the way.” Swimmers’ times are reported incorrectly. Swimmers names are wrong. Analysis of budget figures are done so poorly as to give “back of envelope” math a bad name. Sometimes they are just written in a way that makes me have to re-read it a few times to figure out what they meant. For instance, in today’s Partriot-News one reporter writes “Pennsylvania has 36 fairs — four more than 200 years old.” (My confusion is the count of the number of fairs, followed by “four more than…” This had me thinking something else was numbered at 32. Until I realized that the reporter meant “four of them over 200 years old.” Trivial, but it makes the point.)
All in all, I find that my faith in the local reporters’ ability to “report” is challenged. I am not quite sure what to believe.
This is compounded further by the apparent need for reporters to view themselves as activists. They often inject their own editorial comments into the stories. Often they are simply the introduction of an adjective or some other description that I am sure the reporter intended to make the story interesting, but unfortunately also tends to tilt the story. Just check out the way the same story (use Google News) can be reported by different newspapers to see the ways they perhaps unintentionally spin the story.
All that said, I do stay up on the news. In fact, I use Google News quite a lot. I use RSS feeds (and am really liking the new Adobe Air app, Snackr, which selects, and scrolls. random headlines from my feeds list.)
So my question for you is: where do you get your news?