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 AJR  Letters

From AJR,   March 2010  issue

Go Local   

I have been occasionally reading your magazine for a decade. The last year's issues have been so depressing that if journalism was my only career, I'd be on three antidepressants and a fifth of whiskey a day. Fortunately, journalism is my third job. I own, or am part of, two other businesses.

Many times in the last 20 years, I have been forced to stand back and reanalyze my businesses and make adjustments. Instead of crying in our beer about the Internet and television and how they are killing newspapers, let's look at the niches available.

What can newspapers offer that the Internet and television can't? What can we offer that magazines can't? What do our customers need that those other venues can't give them? Local news.

There is never going to be an article in Newsweek or on the Internet comparing and contrasting the options for county commissioner in Stanton County, Kansas. But those commissioners are going to be very important to the folks in Johnson and Manter who have to live with the results of that election.

Newspapers can't replace television. We can't compete with the Internet. But we can give people timely, in-depth stories about them, their friends, their neighbors and their communities that neither television nor the Internet can offer.

Lynn Allen

Columnist and freelance reporter

Cheraw, Colorado