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I Cancelled My Local Paper
One week ago today, the final straw made me cancel the Aiken Standard (also called the Aiken SubStandard). Here’s why.
A month ago, we got the word that in an effort to cut costs, the paper was going to eliminate the Monday edition and combine the Saturday and Sunday editions. I was already worried because reading the Sunday comics (and weekdays) was one of my favorite things about the paper. Well, nine days ago, I got the first combined edition and was appalled. Half of the strips I read were gone, replaced by mediocre comics I had zero interest in. I quickly went to the editorial page, and there was an explanation by the lead editor.
A few years ago, our local paper was purchased by the Charleston Post and Courier (ComPost and Courier). Almost immediately, over 90% of the paper’s editorials were from the P&C, not by the local editors. The excuse for all the cost-cutting was to bring the Standard more in line with its owners, including their comics. However, the final straw was the cancellation of Dilbert based on Scott Adams’ “racist” remarks.
I immediately wrote a scathing letter to the paper. After sleeping on it, I toned it down and sent it in. The next day, I received an e-mail from the lead editor, beginning with the standard “sorry to see you go” statement, along with a repeat of what was printed in the paper. As for canceling Dilbert, he said the response was about 50/50 pro and con. I was tempted to send a reply telling him that he should have kept Dilbert in. That way, he’d reduce the number of angry people by half.
Reading between the lines, he pretty much admitted they bowed to their masters in Charleston. Yeah, I know it was strictly a business decision, and the paper’s owners can do what they want. Well, I did the only thing I could. I canceled my subscription.Published in General
Our paper now comes in the mail. BLah.
I haven’t taken the News and Observer in decades.
My brother and I had bumper stickers printed up with ‘Just Say No to the N&O.’
I cancelled my newspaper a long time ago (in CA). I got tired of reading headlines that weren’t supported by the content of the articles. Have relied on the internet news sources ever since.
There is something great about a physical paper, but sadly they seem to be doing everything to kill it.
I enjoy the Epoch Times, although it only comes once a week. But a subscription covers the print and online editions and I am quite happy. I am sorry to see you lost your local paper (I though they were all owned by USA Today).
My sister in MD saves the newspapers to use in shipping so when I get any packages from her, I get to read the news too. It has comics and I save those to wrap gifts. I love reading her papers, so much better than on line news.
Some time ago, the local paper was subsumed by some conglomerate. Local news other than high school sports and obituaries took a massive hit. They regularly get scooped by the local edition of The Patch. The editorial page was never stellar, and descended from there with three(!) columns on Juneteenth this year. (Only 84 shopping days left!) Mom was attached to the local paper, particularly for knowing what stations would be carrying Cubs and Blackhawks games. She passed just before Christmas.
Monday publication ended this month, though subscribers can get the online edition, which isn’t worth the paper it isn’t printed on. They carried Dilbert. Now they do not. I hope their virtue compensates them while their subscription figures fall.
My local paper became part of Gannett years ago. Now it pretty much just USA Today. The bulk of the paper is syndicated stuff. Looking at the local content you see the same bylines over and over, so I don’t think they have much staff.
I would pay for extensive local coverage of news and sports (and of course, comics), but that option doesn’t exist in my market.
For most of my life, beginning in Jr. High., reading the paper was an anticipated part of my daily ritual. I loved the Sunday edition, especially when I could get it on Sunday and stretch it out over the weekend. My favorites through the years were the San Francisco Chronicle, the LA Times, and the Chicago Tribune. And yes, comics were an important part of it all (along with the sports and entertainment sections and best of all, a good book section.) But for the last ten years, I haven’t been a newspaper reader, due to the decline in product and the access to stories on the internet.
Like television, something that was a big part of my life is gone. And I’m okay with that.
Is that the Raleigh N&O?
I didn’t even like Dilbert. But I cancelled the Albuquerque Journal (about $350/year) and told them that any newspaper that doesn’t believe in free speech was not OK with me. Their explanation about the comic’s cancellation was one-sided and didn’t attempt to give the context. They should have written an editorial why they WERE NOT going to cancel.
I haven’t checked recently, but it used to be possible to subscribe to Dilbert directly, online. Assuming you want to support Dilbert/Scott Adams, not just the newspaper.
They should rename it the Aiken Post.
Or the Aiken Toast.
I was thinking Aiken Tuchus.
My wife cancelled our local newspaper subscription last week. She was already annoyed with the increasingly irregular delivery, and then the cost went up more than $100 for an annual subscription. That was a dealbreaker. She didn’t even switch to the web edition to reduce cost. Instead, she decided that she wasn’t really getting value out of it anymore so she just cancelled the automatic renewal at the end of the month.
I went through a similar process last year with the nearby city newspaper, but in that case I switched to the online edition. I didn’t think I’d like it as much as leafing through a physical newspaper on Sunday morning, but I’ve made the adjustment. I only read the Sunday edition, and only for the comics and a columnist or two.
I’m so old, I remember when we used to get two newspapers – the N&O, and The Raleigh Times . . .
We have a winner . . .
Seems like someone could make money by selling a print edition of just the Sunday Comics.
There were online places where you could assemble your own customized “funny pages” but they had to be done separately for each syndicator etc. I don’t know if that’s still possible.
Yeah and most e-edition newspapers have a lousy comics page, the comics are too small and low resolution so they don’t look good when you zoom in.
Yeah, there’s that. I did find I can do the Jumble every day from the Chicago Tribune’s web site. Now, if I can just find the online boggle . . .