Newspapers throughout the world are failing, one by one. In an age where information can be had by the click of a mouse, daily newspapers have taken a major hit. If it were not for the quality and the special local features offered by our paper here in the Nashville area–The Tennessean–we would probably opt out of having a newspaper delivered to our driveway altogether.
The Tennessean now offers a finely constructed e-version of the paper, available on PC and Mac computers, and iPads and Apple/ Android phones. In an attempt to stay relevant in this digital age, the 200-year-old paper (through numerous acquisitions and mergers in it’s history) took a bold step: The middle-Tennessee newspaper publisher is offering this souped-up digital version in addition to it’s print version, as a part of the monthly subscription price, recently raised to accommodate the new offerings . Many cities have already taken this big step toward the future–and survival–but unlike many other markets, big and small, the Tennessean has decided to forgo offering the e-version of the paper through outlets such as the Apple Sore and Amazon.com. Instead, they are going at it in an independent fashion: through their own website. The cool thing is, we can send a complimentary e-subscription to a limited number of non-newspaper subscriber friends and family; a great way to market this new digital platform to potential customers.
I appreciate the journalistic concept of a local paper. It is still important to document culture, the life of the community–it’s special interest stories of folks who make a difference in our little world–apart from the national news that, many times, can overshadow the local market. Fifty years from now, because of the journalist’s efforts here in middle-Tennessee, we will be able to search the archives for stories of the the lives, the little happenings, the joys, sorrows and achievements of the local folks we hold dear.
Because of the e-version of the paper, when I go to California in a few weeks, I’ll still have The Tennessean at my fingertips when I wake up in the morning, via my iPad. Let’s continue to support our local papers, lest they fade into oblivion.