February 25, 2009

La Morte du Courant

An expansion on a comment to Colin McEnroe's facebook post, regarding the Mardi Gras Massacre, linked to Dennis Horgan's blog piece naming today's layoffs at the Hartford Courant.

I've been thinking about this myself; I feel bad for not supporting the Courant. I have not had time to read it front to back in years, and feel environmentally bad seeing the pile of unread issues heading out to the recycling bin which, with the variable price for recycled material, might well be heading to the landfill. For year's I'd subscribe to the Suanday paper at a minimum; if I did not get to the paper on Sunday I'd digest it through the week, and save Northeast magazine (and the beloved crossword puzzle) for airplane reading.

And I've certainly migrated - to craigs list, to the online version, to national news feeds, to blogs. I click through to the Courant pretty much every day to check out the local news, but I might read one or two pieces of interest, unless there is something big brewing.

So for someone like me - who would just as soon not have a piece of paper in my hand (for lots of reasons) but would like to support the local news source - what are the options?

I'd be happy to donate the buck or two a week or whatever the Courant is charging for a paper subscription (and having a website "donate" button would be a start, kind of a public radio model) - but I kind of think that's not enough; the real revenue is not the subscription fees but the ad revenue, and they are not getting enough of that for my eyeballs or clicks as it is.

It is sad, like watching a car crash is slow motion. Lot of good people getting hung out to dry in this one. And we're losing a vital cog in our information machinery.

No comments: