Tim Ball, in a post titled “Newspapers and why nobody reads them” writes:
“The problem for newspapers isn’t that I’m getting this information from another source. It’s that I don’t want it at all, and the local-local focus of metro newspapers in the last several years has made them not just less valuable to me, but increasingly annoying to me. I want to be able to pick up the local paper in a large city, toss out the Local section and get all that I need from the other sections.”
I’m a bit of an evangelist for local news, so I don’t agree with everything Tim says, but I’m definitely part of the market in question here. And, living in a new town, I definitely couldn’t care less about what the city council or school board have to say.
Back in Santa Cruz, the circulation area was smaller compared to Rochester, even if the town was much bigger than the suburb we live in now, so the chances the local paper had of hitting a topic I was interested in were much better.
And more than that, because I could certainly read the (hyper)local paper here, the local politics, development issues, and crime stories always hit (literally) closer to home, and drew me in, even if it was just to criticize the paper’s coverage of a given issue. (Yes, I ended up working there for a year, too.)
For more pontificating about local news, check out last weekend’s Carnival of Journalism, which I sat out with a hyperlocal sinus infection.