Newspapers going the way of the dinosaur?

While I was at my father’s house today, my brother picked up our local daily newspaper today (The Star-Ledger) and pointed to the lead story.

“What is this crap? Is this even worth reading?”

The story was headlined “Sillyness and Missteps at the Citadel Made Princeton Musicians a Band on the Run.” Now my appreciation for the plethora of song lyric/title-based headlines this paper has lately been using relentlessly notwithstanding, my brother makes a good point. He says he’s more interested in a story that wound up on the front of an interior section that was about the toll-rate hikes being discussed in Trenton, and wondered why it was semi-buried inside the paper.

“I know I don’t have journalism training like you do, but I like to read newspapers — why wasn’t the toll-hike story on the front page?” he asked. And I don’t have a good answer for that. My supposition is that feature articles also have their loyal readers, and people would rather read something other than the doom-and-gloom news that we’ve become all too familiar with in the past few years.

On a related note, I’m considering cancelling my Star-Ledger subscription. Not to bite the hand that (part-time) feeds me, but I’ve been reading most of the stories on the paper’s website the day before it hits my front steps at sunrise. I’d been a faithful reader of the comics and advice columns, too, but now even those have been cut almost to nothing. Well, not the comics, but the recent strip additions have just been terrible.

Here’s hoping newspapers can evolve and continue to compete with the Internet.

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