I was just 16 years old when the Huntsville News printed its last edition, pictured above. But I already had a healthy appreciation of newspapers and a small inkling to want to write for one someday.
The Huntsville News was the morning paper, and The Huntsville Times was the afternoon paper.
It’s hard to believe that this city used to support two newspapers.
But that was before the Internet. Everyone likes to blame the Internet for the downfall of newspapers right?
I don’t know what I think about the Times (and other major newspapers in Alabama) downsizing to three days a week and the huge swathe of layoffs. I’m kinda shocked. The slow demise of newspapers as we know it isn’t anything new, but I never thought I’d see the largest papers in my state make such a move. I’m tempted to call it a stupid move because I don’t think it will work, but then I’m not sure what they’re trying to accomplish. If they’re trying to slowly kill the print edition and shift to online only, then it just might work. If they’re trying to salvage the print edition, making it less relevant by publishing less often and forcing people to go online for news — that doesn’t seem like a good strategy.
Of course, aside from saving the institution as a whole is the impact to the content available. Half of the Huntsville Times newsroom was cut. Half?? What kind of content will we even have Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, or daily online?
I just never thought that someday my last edition of the News might be joined by a last edition of the Times. At least not in my lifetime or on my watch. Now, I’m not so sure.