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
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 23 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Our paper now comes in the mail. BLah.

    • #1
  2. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    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.’

    • #2
  3. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    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.

    • #3
  4. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    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).

    • #4
  5. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    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.

    • #5
  6. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    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.

    • #6
  7. Vance Richards Inactive
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    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.

    • #7
  8. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    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.

    • #8
  9. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Hang On (View Comment):

    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.’

    Is that the Raleigh N&O?

    • #9
  10. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Stad (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    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.’

    Is that the Raleigh N&O?

    Yes.

    • #10
  11. garyinabq Member
    garyinabq
    @garyinabq

    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.

    • #11
  12. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    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.

    • #12
  13. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Stad: One week ago today, the final straw made me cancel the Aiken Standard (also called the Aiken SubStandard).

    They should rename it the Aiken Post.

    • #13
  14. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Stad: One week ago today, the final straw made me cancel the Aiken Standard (also called the Aiken SubStandard).

    They should rename it the Aiken Post.

    Or the Aiken Toast.

    • #14
  15. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Stad: One week ago today, the final straw made me cancel the Aiken Standard (also called the Aiken SubStandard).

    They should rename it the Aiken Post.

    Or the Aiken Toast.

    I was thinking Aiken Tuchus.

    • #15
  16. Jeff Petraska Member
    Jeff Petraska
    @JeffPetraska

    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.  

    • #16
  17. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    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.’

    Is that the Raleigh N&O?

    Yes.

    I’m so old, I remember when we used to get two newspapers – the N&O, and The Raleigh Times . . .

    • #17
  18. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Stad: One week ago today, the final straw made me cancel the Aiken Standard (also called the Aiken SubStandard).

    They should rename it the Aiken Post.

    Or the Aiken Toast.

    I was thinking Aiken Tuchus.

    We have a winner . . .

    • #18
  19. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Stad: I was already worried because reading the Sunday comics (and weekdays) was one of my favorite things about the paper.

    Seems like someone could make money by selling a print edition of just the Sunday Comics.

    • #19
  20. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Stad: I was already worried because reading the Sunday comics (and weekdays) was one of my favorite things about the paper.

    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.

    • #20
  21. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Stad: I was already worried because reading the Sunday comics (and weekdays) was one of my favorite things about the paper.

    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.

    Comics.com

    • #21
  22. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Stad: I was already worried because reading the Sunday comics (and weekdays) was one of my favorite things about the paper.

    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.

    • #22
  23. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Instugator (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Stad: I was already worried because reading the Sunday comics (and weekdays) was one of my favorite things about the paper.

    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.

    Comics.com

    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 . . .

    • #23
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.