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December 17, 2008

Changes in our Local Media

I am interested in what is going on in the Ann Arbor area and consequently I scour the local media pretty thoroughly on a regular basis, reading in print: "The Ann Arbor Observer," "The Metro Times," "Between the Lines," "Current" and whatever other free papers I find around town. And online I read: "The Ann Arbor News" "Arbor Update," and now "The Ann Arbor Chronicle." Now, it seems that the News wants to change its ways and become more focussed on the local news, a role now being quite well played by the new Chronicle, and to emphasize the online aspects of keeping abreast with what is occurring in our town and surrounding areas. The editor of the News, in fact, wrote in an editorial on Sunday that he requests input as to what readers want to see in the paper. In reply to his editorial (I usually read all the commentary and blogs, as well), he received quite a bit of constructive criticism about the mlive.com website, which is not easy to negotiate, although it has become a little more organized and aesthetically pleasing lately. Respondents wrote both in the News blogs and in a Chronicle column. Of course, it goes without saying that the current economy is a huge factor in stimulating this desire for change on the part of the local media, but it seems very obvious that ordinary, everyday people's habits are changing, too, perhaps because they have become used to the ability to blog and comment and they want to maintain and expand this feature, thus having even more say in how the news is presented and even what it consists of. And, the corollary to this theory is that online is the way to go. I personally am staying tuned for even more changes in our local media.

Posted by schnitzr at December 17, 2008 07:36 AM


Was just talking to a local realtor who was telling me how frustrating it is to advertise in the AA News. If they are not making one mistake, they are making another. Later, they apologize and return part of the $$, but meanwhile, through the misinformation, the realtor may have lost a customer (and the seller a sale). She said that she would not miss the paper when it's gone (which, she thinks, it will be in the not-too-far-distant future). Incidentally, several members of the UM Council for Disability Concerns cancelled their subscriptions when the AA News wrote the series about the UM athletes, revealing confidential information such as grades and causing considerable personal distress to them and to their mentor. I would have cancelled my subscription in protest too, but I had already done so because of a grievance I had already had with that paper.

Posted by: schnitzr at December 21, 2008 02:51 PM

I am this close [imagine a very tiny space between thumb and index finger, here] to canceling my subscription to the AA News because fo all the ads. I realize print newspapers are having a difficult time of it of late but I'm much rather ignore the ads from Google online than have to fight getting to the news on paper by having it blocked by ad stickers or wrapped arount things I'm trying to read. Save some trees, people. And, while I'm complaining, fix your grammar and spelling errors, too AA News!

There, I've vented!

Posted by: swortman at December 21, 2008 02:42 PM

Have to comment on my own commentary to the effect that the day after I wrote the blog above, there was a front page story in the AA News (print version) about The Detroit Free Press's decision to cut down on home delivery, in which the writer says, quoting the newspaper executives: "...taking a bold step that recognizes the Internet as a disruptive news delivery technology that is rapidly replacing the dead-tree model" Haglund, AA News, Dec. 18, 2008, page 1.

Posted by: schnitzr at December 19, 2008 09:30 AM

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