Newspaper drops daily print version to focus on Web
Posted at 12:15 PM on February 11, 2008 by Melanie Sommer (3 Comments)
The Capital Times of Madison, Wisconsin, has announced plans to drop its daily print publication to focus its editorial resources on the paper's Web site. It'll still publish two weekly tabloid-type publications -- one featuring its editorial and opinion columns, and one focusing on the arts.
The Cap Times, which has been around for some 90 years, is Madison's afternoon paper, and its daily circulation has been dropping for years -- it now stands at 17,072. It competes with the Wisconsin State Journal, the morning paper with a much larger customer base.
The Cap Times is known as the "progressive" media voice in the Madison market, in keeping with the mission of its founder, William T. Evjue.
Here's a Q&A with Dave Zweifel, the editor of the Cap Times.
I can be empathetic toward the reasoning behind dropping paper production. I find myself choosing to wonder the web for news, surfing headline to headline, because riffling through an oblong sized paper can be frustrating and dealing with inconveniences like little sub-scripts telling me the story I’m reading is "continued on 3C". Not to mention the immediately following search for the not-always-clear abbreviated title directing me to my chosen continued story. But still, there is a certain unease that comes, perhaps because news paper sales have been dropping for years, a feeling that this is the start of some trend. As we loose our paper connection, and move to a digital connection, are we going to loose the certainty of history and fact? Even George Orwell couldn't have predicted this, at least when they were re-writing history in 1984 they were writing it on paper and burning the "outdated text". Of course, conspiracy theorist at heart, I can't help but wonder how easy it would be to wipe a moment in once recorded history off of a hard drive forever, or even change the facts of the moment. At least Orwell left an inkling of hope, it was still possible to fold up that piece of "incorrect history" put it in your pocket, and store it in a box under your bed where it could exist forever; honest, untouched, unedited. Unless, of course, the neighbors brainwashed children discover your history box and rat you out, but that's an entirely separate issue. Anyway, comments usually aren't supposed to be longer than the article - so I apologize - I was just thinking.
Posted by Jill Blodgett | February 26, 2008 8:39 AM
Saddening to realize that the daily newspaper will eventually die due to the massive proliferation of the internet. I, for one, still look forward to my daily newspaper. I walk to my driveway each morning anticipating the opportunity to READ THE NEWS OF THE DAY.
I'm sixty years old. I've been doing it since I was a kid. Back then, it was always to read the sports page, first. Then, I'd go to the comics, after that, it was the headlines of the day on the front page. Certainly, I'd find time to READ IT ALL! Even the editorials....a kid reading the editorials....not even my friends read the editorials. I was just anal....in so many ways.
Now, my habits vary, depending upon what's happening in the world. I intend to get my daily 'til the day I die. Understandably, I do browse the world wide web frequently. No doubt it adds to my understanding of events. Nevertheless, I savor the smell, the feel, and the physical nature of the printed word.
Current and future generations will never experience the thrill of running out to the street, in rain, or snow, scurrying back to the house, unfolding a newspaper, and sitting down in a chair, or speading it on the kitchen table expanding the horizons of knowledge by way of the printed word. Sad to realize the daily newspeaper is terminally ill, and on life support. May the Good Lord rest her soul.
Posted by Patrick Boice | August 25, 2010 11:58 PM