Monday, February 16, 2009

The day the news was about the news

There are no adequate words to describe the death of the printed word in a couple of West Texas communities. Suffice to say that people in McCamey and Iraan are a little less informed since their respective weekly newspapers ceased publication 10 days ago.

This is a sign of changing times, of course. The plight of newspapers in general has been well documented. Newsprint is gradually giving away to electronic means of transmission of news. The Internet, as well as 24/7 cable television provides more immediacy to reporting.

Even the industry giant, the New York Times, is feeling the pinch.

But that's just one of the factors that face newspapers.

In the case of the McCamey News and Iraan News, demographics likely was the prevailing cause of death. Circulation figures were miniscule due in part to the shrinking population that most small Permian Basin towns have dealt with for years.

According to the Texas Press Association, the McCamey News circulation was listed at 560 and the Iraan News distributed 375 copies each week.

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