Don’t Back Off Quality, Especially In Challenging Times

“There’s nothing to read in the newspaper.”

Ouch.

That’s a killer complaint, especially coming from a longtime subscriber.

Now what?

Try predicting how your member newspapers would respond?

Is it:

  • A. Sorry, we wish we could print more news but print advertising has declined.
  • B. Our reporters were on furlough last week. We’re still looking to replace the city hall reporter who left six months ago.
  • C. We had to trim newsprint costs to make budget. Corporate, you know.
  • D. Tell us what you’re looking for as we want you to remain a loyal subscriber.
  • E. Go to our website.

Earning more reader revenue from subscriptions should be matched with improving the quality of the newspaper. There will be strain and pain, but it’s the best solution.

Watching companies eliminate days of publications makes you wonder if that move is instinctively matched with improved news reports for the remaining newspapers that are printed.

If not, it’s only cost cutting.

And that’s a downward spiral.

Cheers to those using improve quality as a way to fight back. May the industry be with you.

I remember after a desperate period of cutting pages, this publisher received a card. Attached to it was a pair of tiny boots, with this handwritten note.

“If you’re going to die, then die with these on.”

The point:

March on with a quality newspaper that meets your reader needs.

Even when things are tough.

The reader who got my attention was right.

It’s the way out — and up.

—TAS

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