What the Readers are Saying About the Newspapers

This post was written earlier this summer, so some of the material may seem out-of-date.  Due to the vast changes at this blog, I have re-posted some of my older articles.

 

After discussing the the lay offs and shrinking size of the newspaper at the Baltimore Sun; residents of near by Annapolis, Md., have contributed to the discussion of the struggling newspapers.

Journalists are skeptical of the print edition of newspapers, but how do the readers feel?

“My local news, from the local newspaper and not having that in a print form is something that will be missed,” said Paul Knight, of Arnold, Md.

The local news side of a newspaper will be missed by many residents, especially those of whom reading the paper was a part of life growing up.

“I grew up in a house where we read the paper … we always had a newspaper around,” said Jay McCarl, of Crofton, Md.

While the answer to the newspaper problem is yet to be found, it is evident that there are still those who still enjoy reading their morning paper.  Condensed papers are now featuring more stories from the Associated Press, with less reporters available the local news has been pushed to the wayside.

“You lose the hometown, local feel to things,” said McCarl.

Residents expressed a feeling that the loss of local news took away from the quality of the paper, but the size of the paper as well.

“Now we get the paper and it’s a pretty thin little sliver,” said Johnny Tatum, of Annapolis, Md.  “It’s been a big change over the years as far as what the paper provided us.”

The compression of newspapers has not gone unnoticed, and a shift towards a more nationally focused newspaper has been a turn-off to some readers.

“I want to keep those things that are personal to me,” said Mary Lynn Gabbard, of Arnold, Md.

Economic issues have forced less reporters to do more work, with less resources.  The ability to go and report on local news isn’t as easily done for reporters now.  There seems to be an emphasis on making sure that national news is covered before the local news can recieve the attention it too deserves.

“I’m not sure how they can keep up the quality reporting and quality journalism, because I’m sure their budgets are shrinking,” said McCarl.  “I would be sad to see it [print newspapers] go but I feel myself going to the computer, because it’s faster and more up to date.”

The benefits to online and automated updates aren’t forgotten.  But the response from the readers seems to be keep the local news in the papers and save the national news for the internet or television.

“My national news, I would be more interested in seeing on Fox News,” Gabbard said.

“I tended to like to read something I was holding; it took me awhile to get used to reading stuff online,” Tatum said.  “But I find that being able to get the real time information online and just specifically for what I’ m looking for has been really beneficial for me.”

Custom made map of Annapolis.

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