As a company, we found out just a few days before the rest of the state did that the Chronicle would be dropping its Monday print edition. It’s a bad situation and a severe prick to our pride as a daily newspaper — one made worse by the fact that a press breakdown delayed Sunday’s paper, the very issue that carried the awful news about Mondays.
Now that the Associated Press has picked up the story, newsies from around the state are starting to react on Twitter, mostly with single syllables or gutteral sounds.
It also didn’t take too long for one of our friends at the local TV station to chime in:
I can’t wait to see what our advertising people will have to do to counteract the blitz that will no doubt be coming from TV and radio. They’ll make sure to note the fact that we’re not “daily” anymore — despite the fact that we’ll still be offering news seven days a week.
And then there are the occasional doomcasters:
Listen folks, it’s not ideal. We know that. And it doesn’t look good when you compare us to other papers in the state that are still printing seven days a week. But if there is anyone out there who still thinks that print has a long-term future, then, frankly, they need to wake up.
Yes, we like print. We love it. It makes a ton more money than digital does. But that revenue imbalance doesn’t change the fact that major, major changes are still coming to print newspapers.
How long will it take? A few years ago, I would have estimated 50 years to the end of the print edition. However, with the huge uptake in smartphones, changing the way people consume news and information much more rapidly than I thought possible, I’m seeing that my estimate was probably too liberal — how far I was off remains to be seen.
That’s how I see losing the Monday print edition, as the start of the transition. To call it a “slippery slope” is a misnomer. That implies a road to ruin or the corruption of some ideal. That’s not the case here — unless you are one of those increasingly rare print devotees who thinks that anything other than ink-on-paper doesn’t qualify as “real” or “serious” news.
I feel for those people. Their world is crashing down around them as the world makes the inevitable transition to digital news, and there’s little we can say to make them feel better. The best we can do is to keep doing what we’re already doing: producing quality journalism seven days a week. Maybe if we keep doing good work — even if it’s only online on Mondays — those people will see that we’re not doomed to listicles and celebrity fluff pieces.
Listen to me, judging listicles and celebrity news after writing a screed like this. Seems hypocritical…
Yeah… I’m OK with that on this one.