Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Old News - The Demise of the Sunday Newspaper

It was a tradition, not only in my parents' home, but with my husband and I as well -- read the Sunday newspaper.

Growing up it was my hometown paper in Oshkosh,Wisconsin, but also (what was then called) the Milwaukee Journal. We kids would fight over who got the comics section first, much to the chagrin of our parents.

I liked newspaper journalism so much I went into it as a profession upon graduating from college in 1982. Did that for about 15 years and I still freelance. I love news.

So what am I getting at here?

My husband and I decided not to buy the local/state Sunday paper anymore. We do subscribe to a national newspaper we get Monday-Saturday if our mail carrier decides to show up (we live in the country), but there is no Sunday edition.

Our state and local Sunday papers regurgitate what they've published all week, with few new locally written articles. Sports stories are new, obituaries are new....not a whole lot else.

Why? That's easy to answer - most news is on your computer or your phone. I understand that. Maybe I am naive, but I don't think that means newspapers have to skimp on news.

What are your thoughts on this? I'd love to hear them.


  1. I am just pissed I did not coin the nickname Grammar Bitch for you back in the day. It is just as bad for sports sections. Nothing I don't already know when the paper arrives the next morning. Sports sections should run two pages of expanded agate boxes and the rest should be columns or lengthy personality/issue features.

  2. Paper costs money. We need more Donald Trump Trump and Jesus Christ almighty our savior. I'll forgive your newspaper sins of reading devil comics and spreading news not brought to us by our lord.

  3. Hi Anne! I haven't had a paper subscription for years. My rule on subscriptions is: if I haven't read the last one by the time the next one comes, it goes into recycling. The backlog *never* gets read. And I was recycling too much as unread. I use an RSS reader (Feedly) to watch a large number of online publications (including a number of print newspapers) and I have a electronic subscription to NYT and have been strongly considering subscribing to the local electronically and likely will this year. I read news all day on my phone as time permits.

    Having also grown up in Oshkosh, I remember the (green?) comics for the Milwaukee Journal.


  4. Yes, it's a Tarzan Economics transition from product to service. Yes, you need to let go of the old vine to get propelled forward on the next vine. Nostalgia makes it hard to let go, but what we're embracing is unquestionably better, no doubt progress when you can target audiences, add interactivity and supplement or drive the conversation with the benefit of audio and video. I favor service over product, pull over push, so I welcome our digital Hearst overlords.

    My fear: We are evolving Channel Me over Channel We.

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