April 11, 2012

Yep, the Journal's moving behind a paywall

I really wish they hadn't titled this Major changes coming to your Ithaca Journal, because if there's anything the Journal has taught us over the years, it's that it doesn't belong to readers or to the community. It belongs to Gannett, the chain that constantly shrinks local staffing while paying its executives the cash that might have gone into local coverage.

Here's the key piece:

We will continue to publish our printed newspaper. All subscribers will receive full digital access to our content through www.ithacajournal.com and through special apps designed for such devices as iPads, iPhones and Androids. They will be able to use our e-Newspaper, an electronic replica of our printed newspaper, allowing readers to read page by page on their computers. Nonsubscribers will have access to a limited number of digital stories per month, outside of key landing pages such as the home page, section fronts, obituaries, Cars.com and Careerbuilder.com.

I'm not really looking forward to "an electronic replica of our printed newspaper", but mostly wonder if I'll have to subscribe to the print edition to get it. They also promise:

We will be focusing more content on topics you've told us you're passionate about: local taxes and public spending, the region's arts and cultural scene, efforts by your neighbors to improve the community as well as economic development and new opportunities for better jobs.

They forgot local sports, crime, and the obituaries, which so far as I can tell, are the main fields where their customers seem happy with the paper. I also worry about "the region", because while I'm interested in what happens in Corning, the "regional" coverage blurring the Elmira, Ithaca, and Binghamton papers pretty much dilutes the local coverage.

We'll see. The Journal's been declining for a long long time, and this isn't new or unexpected.

If any Cortland Standard folks are reading this, could I ask you to expand your delivery area a bit further west? I suspect this may also be good news for the Dryden Courier and its sibling papers, though they've been a bit light on Dryden-specific news lately.

Posted by simon at April 11, 2012 8:53 AM in
Note on photos


Craig Cramer said:

I expect that I'll be spending more time at Living in Dryden. Maybe we'll all have to up our efforts on local coverage in our own little niches.

MHA said:

All the more reason I'd love your help on some occasional coverage for 14850. :-)