Monday, May 31, 2010

The Local Newspaper

It's that time of year for me again, decision time. Do I or don't I want to renew my subscription to the local paper? On the one hand I'd miss the local news and opinions, but on the other hand I get a lot of local news from the free paper that comes twice a week. As for health, environment other than local, science, national, internation, transportation and business news other than local I get most of this from other sources.

And then there's the cost. Once again the cost of the paper has risen for the printed version, this time by 5.2%. True they do have an electronic version, which is about half the price and that I may end up trying. Cost is a major concern for me. It's not that I'm not willing to pay for information, it's just that I'm on a limited budget and can't afford to pay for all that I want. That means for the information I am will to pay for it must give me good value for my money and I'm not sure I'm getting it from my local paper.

My biggest concern in tryibng the electronic edition is that it will be the same as the printed version or worse the same as their website, which is DULL! DULL! DULL! I understand the paper not wanting to give away ther storme, but their website and that of most local Canadian newspapers takes it to the extreme. There's no interactive graphics and the video looks and sounds like it has been just thrown together. They don't seem to understand that they're in the business of selling a product - their paper.

Compare this to a firm like Elliott Wave International, who are selling a forecasting service through a series of regular newsletters geared to your particular needs. They have free stuff that doesn't give away the store, but does inform. Their website has depth. It's far from dull. Their presentation got me to finally subscribe to one of their products. I'm not sure if its the one for me, but I am willing to try others to see what happens.

This has great implications for newspapers (and magazines), which I'll go into more in a future post.

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