National News Has No Place in a Local Paper

My students are just as guilty as anyone else. A big story hits the country, like 9/11 or the bridge disaster in Minnesota and they want to do a story on it. That is silly. Anyone who cares already knows. It is called TV and the ‘Net.

We need to do a much better job at finding and rooting out local stories. I know this just doesn’t sound as exciting to most journalists. They want to be on the big story. Bigger is always better, right? I don’t think so. Look at the internet, what people care about on the internet is people they know. The biggest successes on the net are social networks that allow people to talk to their friends. What to they talk about – their daily lives.

People want to know stuff like what time is the game on Friday and who is the hometown team playing? How much is the dance performance and what time does it start? That is what they want to know.

They can get info and news about the nation and international stuff online and on TV, they don’t want that in a local newspaper, especially a high school newspaper. Now, if you live in Minneapolis, yes you need a story in your newspaper’s first issue. But still localize it. Find someone who was there, or knows someone who was there.

Local, local, local. If newspapers are to survive, then we must pound this into our student’s heads. It is all about the local readership. The people who live here and pick up your newspaper.

Mr. C

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1 Comment

  1. This is a great post. I discuss a similar topic from a slightly different angle.

    You are totally correct. Newspapers have an opportunity to make their stories local and relevant, but they often just run a news wire story.

    Please check out my post and let me know what you think.
    http://wordspicturesweb.wordpress.com/2008/07/02/why-newspapers-are-doomed/


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