Sunday, November 30, 2008

Print is dead? Not yet, if we're lucky

Linda Turley-Hansen writes:

There's almost an audible groaning from the powerful newspaper industry. One wonders if we're witnessing the makeover of an obsolete watch dog, in search of identity, or if we're observing the death rattle. Many will tell you the groans come from Internet encroachment into the tradition of printed news and gossip, advertisement and shared perspectives. Add a falling economy.

The baby boomers know well, staring at one's mortality is uncomfortable. At the least, it appears that the newsprint and ink they grew up with are experiencing a rebirth, to become the understudy of the new actor on stage.

By now, perhaps you know that your friend and mine, the East Valley Tribune, is taking creative steps to hold onto its readers and keep its hard-copy service alive. It will be a free paper when it appears on our driveways, four days a week. The heartbreaker is that by January, 142 employees will receive severance packages, including Executive Editor Jim Ripley. That's 40 percent of the East Valley's mouth piece. In the shift, Publisher Julie Moreno has announced, the Trib will "withdraw coverage and distribution to Tempe and Scottsdale." She reports, it will focus its services on Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert and Queen Creek providing full internet news coverage.

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