I am really suffering in the new news landscape created by the gutting of our daily paper. I was opposed to it to start with by the reality of it is so much worse than what I had anticipated. The minimal reporting that does happen in print is mostly re-runs of things on the Internet.
I feel completely disconnected from city, county and state news. Stories I have attempted to follow just drift away.
The paper arrives in print too late to read before work and is literally 75% sports and ads. The nation, international, metro and business news is one thin section of USA Today length stories, most of them not written by paper staffers. I normally consume a lot of news. What used to be the local daily for metro & statehouse news, a weekly suburban paper, and a weekly hyper local paper. With supplemental NPR and BBC & CNN on the Internet.
Now that the daily has turned into a “Media Group” the little news that is reported in the daily is repeated in the suburban paper making it almost totally useless. And running the same police blotter twice in the same week (once in each “paper”) makes it seem like there is twice as much crime. It’s ridiculous and lazy.
I have tried for almost 2 months to use the app the daily offers to subscribers. Not once have I gotten through a paper because the app crashes after a couple of pages. Every. Time.
So I try the website where they are trying to drive you anyway. I am sure screen shots of this website are being used in design classes to illustrate the myriad mistakes that can be made in layout and usage. Just a few things that make me repeatedly leave the website without the information I was seeking.
- The type face is ugly and thick in a way that looks juvenile and unprofessional to me.
- The headlines are in a laundry list so you skim looking for something of interest without being compelled to click through.
- The headlines are not organized by topic like metro or politics, unless you use the links in the header bar so it’s sports, crime, sports, international, sports, human interest, sports weather in an uninteresting jumble.
- Everything is date and time stamped to let you know how fresh the news is except half of the headlines on the main page are days old.
- The drop down menus are impossible to use on a smart phone or tablet and can even be tricky with a desktop mouse.
- And, a very big sin in my book, the search engine is such crap that you can find a stories you are searching for, just again endless lists of barely relevant stories.
It’s an irredeemable mess.
My husband and I have agreed that we need to switch to the New York Times. This is a significant expense. Much greater than the subscription price of my local daily, but they never offered an option to pay an arm and a leg to get local news printed and delivered
My problem with this solution is that I still have to find how to get city and state news. Political mishegas doesn’t stop just because I don’t know about it. Email alerts, my usual Internet sites and things forwarded or reported by friends are just an elaborate filtration system creating an increasingly refined stream of information.
That really bothers me and I don’t know exactly how to correct for it yet. I guess we will start with the Times and go from there.
Media Complaint Coda: I have emailed Blogger once again to kindly update their system to make it compatible for iPad. I don’t know why I continue to try to write this blog on the iPad when it hangs up, the spell check wont work, the bullet function wont work etc. etc. etc. Signing off from the desktop.