I’m Mark MacDonald and I’m a News Junkie

I have a confession. I’m a “news” junkie. I find myself quickly checking my favorite news website throughout the day. But, sadly, that’s not all. Let’s start at the beginning of my day. When I wake each morning, I wake to the news. Then my wife flips the TV on to my local morning news program (with an annoying traffic girl — but that’s another story…) when she gets out of the shower. I get up and drive to the gym, usually catching the 7am news on our local news/talk radio station. While I jog and lift weights, I keep my ipod radio tuned into the news TV station that they broadcast on one of their TVs.

When I arrive home from the day of work (and checking online news clips), I settle down with the newspaper and read it cover to cover. I rip out articles I need to file, or distribute to my kids. Then when I finally get to bed, I try to catch the first 20-25 minutes of the evening news before I fall fast asleep.

I have a problem.

Many of you have already determined that as you were reading. But perhaps it’s different than the one you identified.

I’m trying to slim back — since often the news is the same. It’s repetitive. So I’m dropping one of my sources. Sadly, I’ve decided after being a newspaper subscriber for almost 30 years (and before that, I was a newspaper carrier who ALWAYS read the Daily Gleaner before I delivered my 100+ newspapers), I’m dropping my daily newspaper. There. I said it.

There are a couple of reasons. As you probably know because of the news that employees that are being dropped from newspaper publishers all over the nation, the newspaper industry is hurting. The articles I read today I’ve read yesterday on the web. Or I’ve seen it last night on the evening news.

Newspapers sell ads. In fact that is their “product”. That why newspapers are small some days and not other days. The large days have more ads (they keep a ratio). If they don’t have the ads to pay for the pages, news has to be dropped. That’s why our local newspaper decided to slim down to 2 sections on Monday, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Then when the ads pick up at the end of the week — presto! We have more news.

I like to regularly read their op-ed pages, letters to the editor, Ask Sam (a cool QnA section) and local news. Yup, you guessed it! That’s the news they dropped. Except Ask Sam, which they just announced can now be found easily online. And the local news has been reduced to match the reduced amount of reporters.

It’s sad that this has happened. But the newspaper industry has moved away from their audience. They’re in survival mode. Whatever’s cheapest.

Are you in survival mode? Don’t forget your customers. Remember what you promised them. Or in your attempt to save your business, they’ll flee to another source. It’s a sobering thought.

Now, I have to think of what I’m going to do during the time I used to read the newspaper. My kids will love it.

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