Saturday, April 08, 2017

I Keep Forgetting, There's No Saturday Newspaper Anymore

I went out to get the newspaper this morning.  I looked around, but it wasn't there.  Then I remembered.  There is no longer a Saturday edition of the Alaska Dispatch News.

Probably, lots of people reading this blog gave up paper editions long ago.  While other people, judging by letters to the editor, are miffed that they are paying for a subscription that now skips  Saturday.

Every print newpaper is struggling to find a way to make itself profitable.  The ADN has the best short term model - it's owned by a billionaire.  But that's not a sustainable model, and the readers are at the mercy of the owner's political and social tastes.

As a local blogger for the last ten years, I've seen the improvements in the ADN.  When I covered the legislature in 2010, the ADN rotated reporters to Juneau every three weeks or so and my coverage of the legislature really had no competition in Anchorage.  When I covered the Alaska Redistricting Board, 95% of the time, I was the only media there.  When I called the ADN editor and asked why they weren't covering the redistricting board, he said, "Because Seth is in Juneau." Seth was their one reporter for state news.

Fortunately, the ADN now has a lot more reporters covering state and local affairs.  And they've recently added a weekly Arctic section.  We're lucky to have all that extra content, even it is now squeezed into six days instead of seven.

If only Facebook and Twitter each shut down one day a week.  I suspect everyone's lives would greatly improve.

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