About 10 days ago, I mentioned the effort by former MPR reporter Chris Julin to pay for his online access to the Duluth News Tribune. He doesn't get the dead-trees edition, so he asked the paper if he could just send money for the Web version. The paper said "no."
Here's an update:
Today the paper's editor, Rob Karwath, writes that Julin wasn't alone. Another couple tried to give the paper some money. It's a reminder, he says, of the value of the local newspaper, regardless of what form it takes:
That value is beat reporting. Stahl covers Duluth city government and Lawler has the arts and entertainment beat. By assigning reporters to cover beats and develop relationships with sources, we get stories TV stations in town don't. In smaller operations, everyone usually becomes a general-assignment reporter. Stories get missed.
Julin and the Farrells put their money where their hearts are. It's something they didn't have to do. It's understanding what our business requires in order to continue providing the value they enjoy.
And for us at the News Tribune, it's encouraging.
Now the frustrating part. You can't read the editor's letter unless you register on the site.
(h/t: Chris Julin)
Meanwhile, over at the Pioneer Press' Christmas party...
We're fortunate in Jordan [perhaps all communities served by South West Newspapers] to be able to download as a PDF the entire local paper. It is available one day after the print edition.
I offered at one point to pay for this, asking why any publisher would give it away. They declined my offer and called it a community service. Kudos to SW.