I’ve seen an empty newsstand like this many a time, but never because The Times didn’t produce a paper to put in it, as is the case now.
It would be hypocritical of me to complain too much since I’ve been an on-again off-again subscriber for years, and am currently off-again. If the reason they went from seven days a week to three days a week is dropped subscriptions, I helped contribute to their problem.
But it’s more than just declining print subscriptions, and it’s not exclusive to Huntsville. It’s the current state of print journalism.
When the change was announced earlier this year, I didn’t know I felt about it (see my post from back then, The Latest News). I still don’t, not completely. But a few thoughts I do have:
On the one hand it’s sad, especially for those who love print. A lot of my feelings toward printed newspapers has to do with nostalgia — things like memories of ink-stained hands after a Sunday afternoon of flipping through the entire volume and being enthralled with the content I had found. I fell in love with newspapers at a very young age and even though I no longer partake of them the way I used to, the memories are fond.
Times have changed. Technology has changed. People and industry have both been drivers of that change, as well as victims of it.
Personally, I’m just not convinced that papers have to respond by making themselves less relevant. Instead of printing less often and forcing people to go online or to other news sources, papers should make themselves more relevant by doing what only newspapers can do, especially what only a local paper can do. Being relevant in the digital realm is important too. I just don’t see why it has to be one or the other.
But, hey, they didn’t ask me, and what’s done is done. Guess we’ll just wait and see how it plays out.