This is Your Paper

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Newspaper advertisers who become angered at the paper have long used cancellation as a means of showing their irritation. Such action is generally looked upon as being the same as stopping patronage of a store to show displeasure. But, is it the same?

The reader who cancels a newspaper subscription does not cancel telephone, gas, water or electric service to show displeasure with those services, Yet, the home town newspaper is, in many ways, comparable to utility services.

Subscription is a Fraction-

There is notable difference newspaper and utility services. It is the individual subscriber's share of the cost. For all services, except newspaper, the subscriber pays the full share of cost plus a profit or its equivalent.

Unlike other services, where the subscriber can somewhat control the cost through regulation of the amount used, neither the subscriber nor the publisher can regulate the amount of newspaper service to be rendered. Being a continuous recording of local history, the amount of newspaper space required is bound to fluctuate. Te meet its obligation, yet keep cost of its service low all can afford it, is why the paper sells subscriptions below cost.

Canceling a subscription to a newspaper, it seem obvious, is not the best way to show displeasure.

Letter to Editor-

A better way is to write a letter to the paper. If your point of disagreement is a matter of general concern, and you authorize it, the paper will publish your letter. In that way, you publicly chastise the paper and tell another side of the controversial matter.

Publication of matter critical of themselves is another of the unique characteristics of our newspapers. No other public or private institution or service is so willing and eager to publicize its own mistakes.

Subscribing to the home town newspaper should be looked upon as the same as subscribing to the other services available in the community. The price is small and actually below the cost. And, whatever the amount, it is a necessary item for complete enjoyment of life in the community.

Social Media-

With the latest of technology and the advent of social media, like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and others, there are the naysayers of the print media.

Many think that newspaper advertising cost too much. Just put it on Facebook for free. I am reminded of you get what you pay for.

Sure, a lot of folks think they are reaching the masses by using Facebook. You are right to say that, but only for a brief short moment will your status update be seen, and only be those who are connected to Facebook at that time. Some will log on later and will see you notification an hour, a day, or a week later. Many have to scroll down several minutes, or click onto your Facebook page just to see your status update.

When you use the newspaper, it will always remain in the same spot regardless. When you log onto our website, our Community Bulletin Board is located on the main page, lower left, and it too never moves.

Many will use Facebook to place unwanted items to sell. As mentioned above, your item gains the spot light for a very brief moment. With the use of a classified ad in the newspaper, it never moves and you can turn right to it every time. The same applies for the website.

Your home town newspapers is a local small town business, and supports this town with tax dollars like many of you. Each time you choose to use another media, keeps us from providing and upgrading to better serve its customers. I, too use social media and see the benefits, but I encourage you to also use your local home town newspaper. Let's support each other and at the same time back each other up.

Editor's Note: Top portion was written by the late William R. Nelson, published in the Portageville Review, 1951